Have you ever tried to light a candle with the window open behind you on a windy day? It just doesn’t work too well. The wind will blow that candle out in no time at all. But did you know that to get a fire burning, you actually need a bit of air? That’s why you’ll see people blowing on a campfire to get it going on a particularly still day. Your fireplace works the same way. In order to get a fire burning efficiently, you need some air movement. Your chimney helps fire in fireplaceprovide that air movement.

What Is A Draft?

A draft is caused by the change in air temperature when you burn a fire in your fireplace. Because the air you’re burning is lighter than the outside air, when you start to burn a fire, the lighter warm air rises as the heavier cold air will sink, forming a natural vacuum that will help with the efficiency of your fire burning. The proper amount of draft means that smoke will be drawn out of your home and into the great outdoors, which makes for a much more pleasant fire-burning experience. It’s no fun to sit in front of a fire if you have burning eyes and a cough from all the smoke. The correct amount of draft, therefore, makes for a pleasant, efficient fire.

Houses built in the past were not built as tight as today’s houses. That’s a good thing, right? You aren’t as likely to feel the strong winds coming into your home, and you’ll save on heating bills. This is true, but it can also cause problems with draft. As cool air comes down your chimney, the vacuum that is formed needs to pull warm air out. If your home is too tight, where is that return air coming from? Stove fans and bathroom vents are also drawing air out of your home, so your chimney is actually in a sort of competition to get air to pull out of your home. If it isn’t able to pull air out, you may be facing a very smoky situation. More serious, however, is the fact that chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, are also not being pulled from your home.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is released with smoke from your fireplace or fuel from your home’s heating systems. It is also very poisonous and can cause vomiting, nausea, headaches, or dizziness to occur. If left undetected, it can cause a person to eventually lose consciousness and even die from exposure.

What To Do

As you can see, draft problems can potentially have very serious effects. If you’re concerned that your home is experiencing draft issues, give the CSIA certified experts at Firesafe Chimney Service a call. We can check out your chimney and determine if problems exist, and we can then diagnose the problem and fix it. Because we are serious about on-going training and education, we know what to look for and how to take care of any potentially life-threatening issues. We care about our community and want to keep all our neighbors safe and happy. Give us a call today!