Most people who own a wood burning fireplace know the basics of how it works, but not the nitty-gritty details. However, those details can make your fireplace a joy or pain to use. In this post, we look at chimney venting, what it is, the types, and why it’s essential to fireplace efficiency and comfort.
What is Chimney Venting?
Chimney venting is when the hot gases and byproducts from combustion heating equipment, such as a fireplace or furnace, flow up the chimney and out of the house. Chimney Venting is essential to the combustion process by allowing gases to exit the house as fresh air is drawn in.
Types of Venting
There are three main kinds of venting systems: natural draft, forced draft, and balanced draft. Let’s look at each one in detail.
Natural drafting is the most common chimney venting system because it’s simple, reliable, and doesn’t require any additional energy or machinery besides the equipment it’s venting. Natural drafting works by the fundamental principle that hot air rises. The fire or combustion draws cool air from the room and the hot air rises and out of the chimney in a cycle.
Forced draft venting systems use a fan or blower to push air up the flue. Forced draft systems are ideal for homes that struggle to create a natural draft because they’re too well insulated, the chimney is too short, or it is obstructed. Moreover, some heating systems like boilers or furnaces require forced draft venting to operate efficiently.
A balanced draft system uses the best of both forced and natural drafting to regulate the flow and ensure the pressure in the flue is consistent for efficient combustion.
Why Chimney Venting is Important
As mentioned, you may never think about chimney venting, but here’s why it’s essential to your safety and your heating system’s efficiency.
Proper chimney venting keeps the toxic gasses flowing out of the house and the temperatures in the chimney at a reasonable level. Poor venting can lead to carbon monoxide buildup in the home, a smoky fire that’s difficult to keep lit, and a possible chimney fire.
Proper venting and drafting also keep your fireplace or heating system running more efficiently, saving you money on fuel costs or energy expenses.
Common Chimney Venting Problems
Now that you know why chimney venting or drafting is important, it’s good to know what can go wrong and impede the process. Unfortunately, many chimneys have poor drafting for these reasons.
– Broken or damaged damper
– Incorrect chimney height
– The flue is blocked by debris
– The chimney is structurally damaged
– Animal nests in the flue
– Creosote buildup
– Negative pressure caused by insulation and competition with other fans or vents in the house
How to Maintain Proper Chimney Venting
You want to get the most out of your fireplace or heating system, so it’s crucial to maintain a healthy draft, and here’s how to do it.
It can’t be stressed enough how vital regular chimney cleaning by a trained professional is. Over time, creosote will build up in your chimney, which restricts airflow, creates drafting issues, and is a fire hazard.
Use Proper Fuel
Using the proper fuel for your equipment ensures the combustion process is as efficient as possible. For example, if you use a wood-burning fireplace, you must only burn seasoned firewood. Firewood with a high moisture content doesn’t burn well and produces more smoke, leading to more creosote buildup.
Inspection & Maintenance
Besides regular cleaning, it’s necessary to hire a professional chimney service company to inspect your chimney and heating equipment at least once a year. Your chimney Sweep can also perform maintenance to ensure everything is running correctly. and repair minor issues before they escalate.
Call the Fluesbrothers
If your chimney and fireplace aren’t drafting correctly, or you experience any other problem, call the expert technicians at Fluesbrothers Chimney and Fireplace. We’re the trusted local chimney service company in Kansas City because we’re family owned and operated.
Our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute, so you can have peace of mind in their work.
Call today at 913-236-7141 or reach us online.