Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

Reasons Your Fireplace Might Not Work


When a fire is started, the air in the chimney warms and becomes less dense than air outside this area. The thinner air naturally begins to rise and cooler air flows into the firebox from the room, fanning the fire and creating more heat. However, there are many reasons that a fireplace may not operate correctly.

Is your fireplace not working properly?

A closed damper is one of the most common reasons for fireplace failure. The user may forget to open the damper or soot buildup or water damage may prevent this component from opening fully, making professional cleaning necessary. Soot also accumulates in the chimney and if deposits become thick enough, the flue may be restricted, preventing the fireplace from venting properly, which can also be resolved through professional cleaning.

Firewood that is wet or is not well-seasoned will create more smoke than heat, preventing the chimney from functioning correctly. Keep firewood as dry as possible, protecting it from moisture like snow and rain. While wood can be kept outside, a chimney located on an outside wall may not operate as efficiently as one in the interior of the home.

Chimney construction may inhibit fireplace operation. A chimney should be ten to 12 feet high or higher and project at least three feet above the roof and two feet higher than anything that is within ten feet. Another problem may be that the flue is too small (more than ten times smaller than the chimney opening) because it may send smoke back into the room.

If the home leaks too much air, a draft effect may overpower the chimney. If it is too tightly constructed, the air exiting the home may not be replenished with new air to feed the fire. In either case, the fireplace may smoke and burn sluggishly. Have the fireplace inspected to diagnose whether these or other issues are preventing it from working.

By on January 4th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment


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