Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

How Your Home’s Chimney Works


Hot air rises; that basic principle is the underpinning of your home’s chimney, which is there to channel fireplace smoke out of the house. It does so with proper up-drafting, but that depends on correct sizing and installation. Flue liners have to be sized for the fireplaces they vent and chimneys need to be of the right height for them to work efficiently.

Fireplace Anatomy - Baton Rouge LA - Basic Chimney Sweep

The Right Height Needs To Be De-Coded

The construction of your home’s chimney also has to protect the house from the heat it carries. That means proper clearances have to be provided, so that the chimney does not transfer heat to the home’s flammable structural elements. Local codes govern both clearances and chimney height, but heights that meet code do not necessarily leave the chimney top where it needs to be.

Your chimney works best when its top is high enough to leave it in low-density air. That is what creates the ambient up-draft that can be felt in a well functioning fireplace system. Local codes may be satisfied with lower tops, but – raised to the height that is actually right for your fireplace, your chimney works better.

Drink Up! The Way Your Chimney Works

Warm air rises until it meets air that is either less dense or hotter than itself. It is drawn by – and into – that absence of air, if you will, like soda being sucked through a straw. If that straw is too big, too small, or extends too far above the rim of the glass, it is going to prove more frustrating than helpful.

Unless you are content for it to take ages to drain that glass, you need a proper straw. That means a flue liner sized for your fireplace and a properly constructed chimney of the right height. Explaining how it works is easy enough, but installing and correctly capping a chimney, we will leave to chimney professionals.

By on February 19th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment


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