Superior Chimney Services, Inc.

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Fireplace Cold Drafts

Fireplace Cold Drafts

Fireplace cold drafts may also be referred to as fireplace drafts, chimney drafts, drafty fireplaces, drafts from fireplaces and many other terms.  A fireplace cold draft may be attributed to a multitude of different things. Most fireplace cold drafts are due to internal negative pressures, which are likely induced by other forced air systems & other exhausts in your home. Other fireplace cold draft factors may include exterior barometric pressures, stack location on your home (inside or outside), a whole house chimney effect (stack effect), dynamic wind loading, or wind downdrafts.

 Fireplace Cold Drafts - Chimney stack effect

A true understanding of fireplaces requires extensive knowledge of airflow patterns, pressure differentials, and actual fireplace construction techniques. A Superior Chimney CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified Chimney Sweep can assess your chimney and its termination environment to pinpoint the cause(s) of your fireplace cold drafts and prescribe the resolution.


Fireplace Cold Drafts - neutral pressure planeHeated air has lower density than cold air, so the warm buoyant air in your house wants to rise through the roof, while the cold heavy air in your unused fireplace chimney wants to flow downward causing fireplace cold drafts. There are pathways in the upper stories & roof elements which allow the warm rising room-air to escape.  Warm air rises up and leaks out of your house while replacement air, from outside, will flow down the chimney and in through your fireplace (fireplace cold drafts). The stack effect is more pronounced in taller, leakier houses and in houses with cold draft chimneys (like chimneys on outside walls, exposed to outdoor temperatures for their entire height & length).

Fireplace Cold Drafts - Smoke ProblemsRainy weather also accelerates the stack effect causing a cold fireplace draft, because the wet air entering the chimney is heavier than the dry air in the house.

Live comfortably, not in a drafty house.


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