Chimneys have been used in residential areas since the later part of the 12th century, though the concept of indoor ventilation has been around since the Romans.  They’ve since become a staple in modern home design, even without a fireplace.  When paired with a fireplace they require a little maintenance and know-how.

What is a Flue?

A flue is a conduit made of clay, ceramic, or metal found inside your chimney.  This vertical passage transports waste and harmful gases outside.  When air becomes warm gases expand and density is lost.  Air that is less dense naturally rises.  This means that the warm gases a burning fire generates will travel upward through the chimney and outside.  It’s very similar to the exhaust on a car.

Why is it Important?

Fireplaces are cozy, but they can also waste heat and energy is mismanaged.  This happens when the flue is left open too wide after the fire starts.  To ensure heat stays in, the flue should be completely open when the fire is started and slowly adjusted towards closure as it burns.  This way most of the heat will stay trapped inside.  What won’t stay inside are the fumes and chemicals released during combustion.  

When Should I Close it?

If the flue is left open after the fire goes out, all the heat generated will escape.  Closing the flue will keep the heat inside; you must be careful not to close it too quickly, otherwise you may trap smoke and carbon monoxide in your home.  It’s best to keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use.  Should it stay open for too long cold air, debris, rain, and even animals can make their way inside your home. 

Here to Help

When you have concerns about your flue, or chimney in general, attempting to identify or fix the issue can be dangerous.  If you’re in need of a professional look no further than Brick + Ember Outfitters.  We can inspect, diagnose, and repair any issues you may be having with your chimney or fireplace.  Whether it’s time for your annual inspection, you suspect damage, or animals have made a home in your chimney, Brick + Ember Outfitters has what you need.  We are the premiere chimney maintenance and repair company, serving chimney owners in the greater Nashville area since 2011.  Give us a call or request to schedule an appointment online.