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Do you feel air coming into your home via the fireplace?  Does your house smell of smoke a lot of the time?  Do you have a hard time simply getting a fire started?  If you can answer yes to one, two, or all three of these questions, you very well could have a draft problem.  Before you can fix a problem, it helps to figure out how it developed in the first place.  One of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can inspect your chimney for you to help rectify the situation.

There are many symptoms of a drafty chimney.  We’ll give it a Foxworthy-esque treatment here to add some entertainment value.  If your fire is reluctant to start and smoke spills into the room at start-up, you might have a drafty chimney.  If your stove back puffs powerfully on windy days, you might have a drafty chimney.  If smoke spills to some degree under all conditions, you might have a drafty chimney.  If smoke spills at larger damper openings, you might have a drafty chimney.  If the heat output is too low, you might have a drafty chimney.  If smoke odors are persistent even when the stove isn’t in use, you might have a drafty chimney.

If you have smoke pouring out of your fireplace back into your home and your damper is open – you may have a draft problem.

Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can determine which, if any, of the afore-mentioned issues are plaguing your home.  There are numerous possible remedies depending on which combination of problems is the culprit of your draft problem.  Oftentimes, cleaning the chimney can take care of the issue; even the slightest buildup inside your chimney can restrict airflow.  Sealing leaks in the chimney is another possible remedy, depending on what is found during your inspection.  Another quick fix would be installing or replacing your chimney cap.  Back puffing problems during windy conditions point directly to this.

It is extremely important to deal with drafting problems as soon as you notice them.  These problems can cause combustion products to back up and enter your home leaving behind unpleasant and unsafe living conditions.  If the draft is working correctly, the harmful gases and smoke from the fire will properly exit through the chimney flue.  Even though you may be able to alleviate most of the excess smoke in your home on your own, the health affects associated with a back draft necessitate consulting with a chimney professional to ensure that your home is safe.  A little peace of mind goes a long way.  You’ll be able to enjoy that roaring fire just a little bit more knowing that you and your family are protected.  We can help!

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