Chimney downdraft occurs when smoke no longer travels up and out. Homeowners typically encounter this problem in older properties with a poorly maintained fireplace. Before your chimney issue gets worse, it’s best to pay close attention to it and address it right away.
In this article, we share some of the most common signs and causes of chimney downdraft and ways to prevent it.
Signs of Chimney Downdrafts
When you see a cloud of black dust on your windows, something might be wrong with your chimney. A downdraft can send small particles of soot through the air due to the negative pressure systems in the home.
Smoke Alarm Malfunction
A chimney downdraft enables low smoke levels to enter your home, causing your smoke alarm to go off. If there seems to be no apparent threat, but your smoke alarm alerted you, call a professional to have your chimney checked.
When a chimney has backdraft issues, it releases dust particles that can irritate your eyes or cause difficulty breathing.
Causes of Chimney Downdrafts
Indoor Exhaust Fans
If the exhaust fan in your kitchen or bathroom is on, it pulls out air and creates a low-pressure system. So, if you use your fireplace at the same time your exhaust fan is on, this results in a downdraft.
When a damper is cracked, it creates negative pressure on the top part of the chimney. It prevents the proper flow of smoke and results in soot buildup on the chimney liners.
Clogged Chimney Flues
Stuck leaves, debris and twigs can cause a huge problem in your chimney. A blockage on the chimney flues can hinder the flow of smoke.
Shut Off Exhaust Fans
When using your fireplace, make sure your exhaust fans are turned off. They naturally increase negative pressure in your home.
Open a Window
Keeping one window open provides another path for air to enter the house instead of going down the chimney. Don’t open two or more windows to prevent the breeze from coming through and creating a vacuum in the house.
Clean Your Chimney
Keep your chimney free from soot and burned debris. Otherwise, these elements can block passageways and make it hard for the smoke to escape through the flue.
To avoid costly chimney issues, hire professionals to perform routine maintenance. Chimney Doctors is ready to provide quality services. Schedule an appointment by calling (518) 882-5009 or filling out our contact form.