This year’s Thanksgiving was filled with family gatherings, comfort food and… drafty fireplaces? There really is nothing quite like gathering around a cozy fireplace, eating food and talking to friends, but this year was a little bit different. A drafty fireplace was in the mix at our Thanksgiving dinner, sending damp and cold air into the home. How was that possible? The chimney was doing fine all summer. As the colder weather rolls through Chicagoland, some people are lighting fireplaces before getting their chimney inspected by a professional. Sometimes, we even hear that people are inspecting their own chimneys and unknowingly overlooking big problems! Now, they are experiencing drafty fireplaces and a heap of potential other issues.
How Do Drafty Fireplaces Occur?
A drafty fireplace is often caused by poor ventilation and/or insulation. When cold air enters through gaps and cracks, it can lower the temperature of your home, leading to discomfort and higher energy bills. Additionally, a drafty fireplace allows warm air to escape, reducing the efficiency of your heating system.
Here are some examples of what a Superior Chimney professional will do or recommend to help drafty fireplaces:
1. Seal Cracks and Gaps
Inspect your fireplace for any cracks or gaps where air might be entering or escaping. Use heat-resistant masonry void filler or mortar to seal these openings. Pay particular attention to areas around the chimney, hearth, and mantel. By sealing these gaps, you can prevent drafts and conserve energy.
2. Install Fireplace Doors
Fireplace doors not only add aesthetic appeal but also serve as an additional barrier between your living space and the chimney. They can help to prevent drafts by keeping warm air in and cold air out. We recommend choosing doors that fit snugly and are made from heat resistant materials such as tempered glass or metal.
3. Use a Fireplace Insert
We recommend installing a fireplace insert. These inserts fit directly into your fireplace and provide better heat distribution. They often come with blowers or fans to circulate warm air throughout your home, reducing fireplace drafts.
4. Heat Reflective Shield For Your Fireplace
A fireplace heat shield can really improve the performance of your fireplace. Oftentimes, mortar joints begin to deteriorate and so do the fire bricks. We recommend repairing the fire bricks and installing a heat reflective shield. As much as 20% – to 40% more heat goes into your home instead of out, saving you money and reducing deterioration.
Wrap Up The Turkey and Seal Up the Fireplace! Don’t let a drafty fireplace ruin your future holiday experiences. Your holiday guests will be coming for the Christmas meal soon enough! A drafty fireplace can be smelly and undesirable, bringing an uncomfortable atmosphere to the holiday dinner table. A chimney inspection by Superior Chimney can help you prevent chimney leaks, further damages and drafty fireplaces. It should be done once a year, ideally in warmer weather, to ensure there is no damage. However, now is not too late! An inspection can still be done in the winter months. It’s recommended to register for a chimney inspection today by calling Superior Chimney today at 877-244-6349.