Like anything that stops working, or doesn’t seem to be working well – there is a myriad of reasons to consider. 

For the sake of time, and space, we are going to consider a few for reasons your fireplace may not be drawing or drafting, well or properly.

We can start with a few less despairing considerations, because it may be a very simple issue to resolve:

Is the Damper ‘Open’ – all of the way?

Is the damper open at all? Frankly this is a far more commonly forgotten step than the folks in your home may be giving you grief about, and we have all certainly been there. Make sure the Damper is open all of the way prior to lighting the fire. Your damper could be jammed due to soot or creosote that has built-up behind the damper.

Is the House too air-tight?

A fireplace needs a bit of a draft to pull up and out of the chimney in order to get the fire enough oxygen to burn efficiently. With updated windows and doors, a house may be quite air-tight, which until the fireplace is utilized, is a very ideal situation. However, cracking a window or two when utilizing the fireplace will allow the fire to burn more efficiently and less smokey.

The chimney’s flue is dirty?

If your chimney has not been cleaned, and you are new to the fireplace-sphere, utilization of the chimney guarantees creosote to be a by-product that builds up in the chimney’s flue system. The chimney sweeping industry recommends an annual cleaning, if not more, depending on the amount of burning that occurs in the fireplace. If there is build up in the chimney, there will be more resistance for the air-flow and thus, like mentioned above, your fire will not burn efficiently and you could experience a smokier fire – not ideal.

The chimney’s design?

This list can get quite extensive because the design issues of a chimney can have a huge effect on the efficiency, and quality of the burn. Flue not tall enough? Flue not large enough or small enough for the the size of the firebox (the space in which the fire takes place)? Is the chimney straight up, and are the flues properly aligned inside of the chimney? And the list goes on.

Start with the first few tips listed for why the chimney may not be drafting or drawing properly, but do not just despair about it – Brick + Ember Outfitters is committed to the safety and functionality of your chimney. Give us a call and let us know what you are hoping to get out of your chimney’s function, and we will get you an appointment to speak with one of our Outfitters about how to best address any issues or concerns.