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Chimney Physics 101

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When you own a home with a masonry chimney and fireplace, it is a good idea to understand how it works so that when problems arise, you may have an easier time troubleshooting what is wrong. One of the most common chimney issues has to do with smoke blowing back into your home. It may surprise you to learn that the air in your home is in constant motion. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), it can help you to think of your house as a system, and several different things in this system, including your fireplace, can affect the airflow.

For over 25 years, Atlas Chimney has provided superior professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the Austin area. We love teaching our customers about the physics that help chimneys work efficiently. We would like to tell you more about how your chimney works and what you should know about it.


How can I make the draft work best in my chimney?chimney hidden behind trees


In order to produce enough draft to pull the exhaust gases out of your chimney, you need the right amount of heat from the fireplace. The hot gases produced by fire is more boyant that cold air, causing it to rise out the chimney. This is known as the stack effect. The hotter the fire burns, the stronger your chimney draft will be. This difference in air pressure pushes out the exhaust gases as it pulls combustion air into your fireplace. Another factor that affects how much draft you have is the height of the chimney. Taller chimneys will have stronger drafts.


What are the most commonly experienced chimney draft problems?


At Atlas Chimney, we often get calls from our customers asking for help with their smoky fireplaces and chimneys. Often these issues are due to poor drafting. A weak chimney draft can be caused by flue blockages, stuck dampers, construction errors, damage to the structure, and dirty chimney caps. Our CSIA-certified chimney professionals have been trained on exactly where to look to diagnose draft problems. After we inspect your chimney, we will recommend the action that is needed to correct the draft and flow.

Understanding the physics of your chimney can help you to enjoy warmer and safer fires this winter. If you have any chimney draft issues, contact us today at Atlas Chimney to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney inspection services.