Why do I get a downdraught from my chimney?

If you notice puffs of smoke coming out of your flue into your home, you could have a downdraught that is causing air and smoke to come back down from the chimney. It is important to identify if it is indeed a downdraught or something else. If the smoke comes out of your fireplace continuously, then this is not a downdraught problem.

If the smoke comes down continuously, you could have a totally different problem. A downdraught is characterized by puffs of smoke coming out of your fireplace and exiting into your home, instead of going out the chimney. A downdraught is usually caused by a chimney that isn’t high enough. It can also happen if your home is surrounded by higher buildings and trees.

Weather conditions, the temperature and wind, can also bring about a downdraught. Another reason could be a flue that might be of the wrong size. The width and length of your flue is usually determined by the size of your fireplace. The cross sectional area of your flue should be 1/10 of the CSA of your fireplace opening.

If you discover that a small flue is the cause of your problem, you can temporarily fix it by making the fireplace opening smaller by using some sheet metal or masonry materials. You should ask a professional chimney service to fix this if you are unsuccessful with the task. Your provider may able to custom-craft a device to make your fireplace opening narrower.

A flue that is too small will cause a downdraught. If it is too large, it can reduce your chimney’s heating ability. Undersizing or oversizing of the flue should be avoided to prevent problems with your fire and smoke issues. If your chimney is too large, it can easily be remedied by installing a flue liner with the same size as your fireplace opening.

Another possible cause would be a flue blockage. If your flue is blocked with things like a bird’s nest, debris, leaves, or damaged bricks, you might also have downdraught problems. Before winter season comes along, have a professional chimney service check your fireplace and flue. You should also clean the chimney, flue, and fireplace prior to the arrival of cold weather.

During the cleaning process, either you or a professional chimney cleaner may discover some problems that need to be fixed. You may also discover that the flue is full of creosote that could also block the chimney. The best time to check for problems and defects is prior to the winter season. It is not a good idea to do repairs when there’s too much snow already.

Sometimes lighting a fire and sticking it up the chimney can remedy a downdraught. The problems could also happen if you have another home appliance that is venting air in the same flue. Check if the downdraught happens only if your tumble dryer is working. A chimney service cold check the connector pipes between your flue and dryer for leaks and cracks.

Master Clean have the experience and the know-how to help you with your chimney problems.

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