The misplaced damper is similar to the problem with the small smoke chamber. The smoke usually gathers in the area above the fireplace’s top opening before it passes through the damper into the smoke chamber. Smoke can sometimes escape if the damper has been installed at the top opening of the fireplace.
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This can be especially problematic if your damper opening is very narrow or if you have the damper installed at an angle that acts as a baffle.
A “baffle” refers to anything that slows down or redirects the flow of smoke or gasses.
A misplaced damper can be fixed by either removing and replacing the damper (which is often expensive and complicated) or installing a smoke guard (see page 30). Smoke guards or fireplace doors lower the top of the fireplace opening to allow smoke to collect before it passes through the damper.
Fireplace Smokes For Windy Days
The Chimney is too short Wind patterns can create pressure zones against the roof. Wind-driven pressure areas are complicated. However, if the chimney is too tall, the pressure zone created by wind can engulf it, forcing smoke down the chimney.
Current building standards stipulate that chimneys must be at least three feet high above the roof penetration and two feet higher than any chimney within ten feet. Professionals can add height to your chimney if it doesn’t meet the required standard. For more information on the height rule.
Sometimes the chimney’s height can be too low to support a strong wind, even though it is taller than the roof. If the wind is an issue, it is best to add height to chimneys that are shorter than the minimum required. Ask your chimney professional for assistance.
No Chimney Cap
A chimney is an opening that leads into your home. All chimneys must have caps. A chimney cap made of stainless steel, copper, or masonry, as well as stone, will help to prevent rain and snow from entering the flue. It will also solve certain draft problems caused by wind. Physics is interested in pressure differentials. It is enough to say that a well-placed cap helps prevent the wind from blowing down the chimney.
Chimney Smokes On Damp Days Or Rainy Days
This can become a real nuisance. Here are some things to watch out for:
Cold and Wet Flue It is more difficult to heat wet chimney flues than dry chimney flues. Because it takes a lot of heat to turn water into steam, this is why they are so difficult to heat. The flue can’t heat up efficiently because water absorbs so much heat. The flue’s tall column of cold air wants to sink, drawing in smoke.
Pre-heating or priming the flue is a good idea. For more information and instructions, see page 26. You can sometimes solve the problem by preheating your flue using the priming technique.
A chimney cap that keeps water out of your flue and a water repellent treatment for exterior masonry are two other things that can help.
Water repellents should not be used on chimneys. The chimney must “breathe” to let the moisture escape. This moisture can cause damage to the structure by locking it in with sealers. Use a vapor-permeable, water repellent that is specifically designed to be used on masonry surfaces. Ask your chimney professional for a quote.
The Chimney Is Too Short.
It is essential that the chimney is tall enough, especially on damp or wet days when the temperature differential between the outside and the inside of the chimney is not ideal for a chimney draft. To drive the draft, you need to have a tall column of warm air. For more information on the height rule, see page 28.
Current building standards call for a chimney that is at least three feet taller than the roof penetration and two feet higher than any chimney within ten feet. A professional can add height to your chimney if it doesn’t meet these standards.
Even if the chimney is tall enough for the building standard to be met, sometimes its overall height is not sufficient. Extra height is a good idea, especially for shorter chimneys in 1-story homes. Talk to your chimney professional before you spend any money on increasing height.