We Offer Comprehensive Chimney Services & Can Make Sure Your System Is Working Properly!
When something is wrong with your chimney system, it can be both incredibly dangerous and incredibly frustrating. But rest assured, with Northeastern Masonry & Chimney on your side, your chimney system will be up and running again in no time. We offer comprehensive chimney services to bring your system back to peak performance and keep it there. Our services include:
- Chimney Sweeping & Yearly Maintenance
- Real Estate Inspections for Purchasing House
- Chimney & Masonry Repairs
- Chimney Relining
- Rebuilds, Renovations & Restorations
- Chimney Leaks
If you are experiencing problems with your chimney and have tried just about everything, it’s possible that your problems are related to the physics of your chimney system. Our experts can troubleshoot your system and help you determine the source of your problems. A lot of science goes into a properly-functioning chimney system – are you ready for a quick lesson?
Where’s The Air?
One of the most crucial contributors to proper chimney and appliance function is adequate air flow. Your house is a system that breathes, bringing air into the home and removing it. Basically, inside of each home there is a “neutral pressure plane” (NPP), which divides the house up into positive pressure (above the NPP) and negative pressure (below the NPP). The positive pressure is working to remove air from the home, while the negative pressure is working to bring new air into the home. Unfortunately, most modern homes are built to be airtight, which makes it very difficult for your home to bring in new air to make up for the air that is used up or removed from the home.
Another factor that can influence airflow within the home is known as “wind-loading”. Wind-loading refers to wind-induced pressure changes. Essentially, when wind hits a building, the pressure on the side of the home hit by the wind is heightened, while the pressure on the other side of the home is lowered. If there are any open windows on the side of the home being hit by the wind, this will help depressurize the house and increase chimney efficiency and draft. However, if there are any open doors or windows on the other side of the home, this can reduce draft and lead to “backdrafting”. Backdrafting refers to the reversal of air flow. Backdrafting can also occur when a mechanical device within the home causes air and smoke to come down the chimney instead of going up and out of the home. These devices can also cause problems with the pressure within the home, by using up all of the air without replacing it with new air. All of these factors could be causing your chimney to work improperly.
How Is Air Flow Different From Draft, And Why Do They Matter?
Proper air flow within the chimney system relies on proper draft, which is why many people get them confused. Think of air flow in the chimney as water in a hose and draft as the pressure in the hose: when the hose nozzle is opened more, pressure is increased and more water can travel through the hose. When draft is inhibited or even reversed by factors inside and outside of the home, air cannot flow in and up the chimney as it is designed to.
What Can I Do To Increase Draft?
There are a couple of simple ways to increase draft, such as heating your chimney’s interior before starting your fire, or burning a hotter fire. Remember, hot air rises, so a heated flue and hotter temperatures will increase draft. Another solution may be to add height to your chimney. If your chimney is not the highest part of your home, it will experience pressure problems that inhibit draft.
Other Possible Factors
Although these are common solutions to draft and chimney efficiency issues, there are other possible reasons why your chimney system may not be working optimally, including:
- Improperly-sized flue
- Damaged, closed or rusted damper
- Obstructed flue
- Structural chimney damage
- Clogged chimney cap
- Improper chimney design and construction
We hope you enjoyed the chimney lesson! If you’re having problems with your chimney system, give Northeastern Masonry & Chimney a call! Our expert technicians have an in-depth understanding of chimney physics, and can give you a quality in-depth analysis of your system. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 518-767-9315, or click here!
Ask us about our stove, fireplace and insert installation services, available through Northeastern Fireplace, Inc., a division of Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. You’ll be amazed at all your choices. And we’ll be happy to discuss them all when you schedule an appointment with us.