Many homeowners complain that they can feel cold air coming out of the fireplace. It’s a common problem with many fireplaces, regardless of age. When you light the fireplace, the chimney sucks in the colder outside air to fuel the fire. The fire needs a constant supply of oxygen to keep it flaming. But as quickly as the cold air comes in, warmer air is going up the chimney along with the smoke and exhaust. And on a particularly windy day, it’s not uncommon to feel a draft. But there are a few ways to minimize cold drafts.
Most masonry fireplaces have a throat damper. The metal device is like a door that is supposed to form an airtight seal when it’s closed. But its position so close to the fire makes it prone to warping. When the damper is warped or corroded, it will allow air to leak through. A top-sealing damper is installed near the top of the chimney. In addition to eliminating air leaks when it’s closed, it also prevents water and debris from getting inside the flue.
The flue liner protects the interior masonry chimney from the intense heat and corrosive nature of fires. But clay tiles, which are the most common type of liners, can develop cracks through normal wear and tear. And some brick chimneys were built without a liner. Tiny cracks that develop in the brick and mortar can cause the cold outside air and carbon monoxide exhaust to leak inside the living space. A Certified Chimney Sweep should inspect your flue liner. Repairing or replacing the chimney liner can alleviate a drafty fireplace.
An open fireplace, even with a mesh screen, can make your fireplace feel drafty, especially after the fire is extinguished. An easy way to solve draft issues is to install a tempered glass fireplace door. You still get a close-up view of the fire burning experience while minimizing heat loss. Also, don’t forget to close the fireplace door when the fire is out. It will keep out any drafts in the fireplace.
It’s essential to make sure the damper is completely open when starting a fire in the fireplace. But once you have a blazing fire, you can close the damper about one-third of the way. It will significantly reduce the draft without affecting the fire. It will also keep your living space warmer too. When the fire is extinguished, close the damper all the way. It will prevent heat loss and drafts.
There are also other solutions like a chimney balloon, and a draft guard that may help. If you have a drafty fireplace, call the hearth experts at A1 Chimney Specialists. We’ll schedule a Certified Chimney Sweep® to inspect your fireplace and chimney and recommend the most appropriate solutions for your fireplace that will solve your draft issues once and for all.