10 Components of an Optimized Chimney System

To help educate our customers about their homes, Chimney Sweeps of America proudly presents 10 components of an optimized chimney system. Of course, we don’t expect you as our customer to be an expert on proper chimney function, that’s why we’re here! But, for the curious, it can be fun to know a little bit about your chimney and how it all works.


Back in the old days, it was somewhat of a given that your chimney was going to be drafty. In modern times, however, it’s a different story. Houses are buttoned up tight to help save on energy bills, and a properly built chimney falls in line. If you have a drafty chimney, you might be able to find the culprit on this list. One of our experts can also inspect your chimney to locate and address the issue for you.


  1. Changes in direction cause flow resistance and thereby drafting issues. Therefore, the flue lining should go in a straight line from the firebox to the chimney.


  1. If your chimney is outside the wall, it is easier for cold air to get into the chimney and cause a draft. A chimney stack constructed within the wall significantly reduces the chances of this happening.


  1. On the outside of your house, the chimney should be the highest thing. That doesn’t just mean higher than the house but also any trees or any other structures that could obstruct wind flow and interfere with the chimney’s ability to create a stable draft.


  1. To help prevent your chimney falling prey to strong wind pressures there should be a chimney cap or rain cap installed on the chimney.


  1. The house should be properly vented with a balanced system. If a house is buttoned up tight and only has an exhaust system, your chimney will not be able to function properly.


  1. The chimney flue should be properly sized by a professional. Any leaks around the flue connection can lead to issues with adverse wind pressures.


  1. Warm air rises quicker up the flue and is expelled more efficiently; therefore, your flue should be properly insulated for best results.


  1. When buying a wood stove, be sure to choose one that the Environmental Protection Agency has certified as a low emissions appliance. Alternatively, you can check to see if it is properly built to prevent smoldering, which is usually the cause of smoke spillage.


  1. Always follow recommendations when using the appliance and keeping it maintained. Just as a machine works best when it is well-oiled, a fireplace or stove works best when optimally used and maintained.


  1. Be sure to have the chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year. In some cases, you may need to have it done more often to keep it clear and functioning properly.


So now that you know the 10 components of an optimized chimney system you might be able to determine why your chimney isn’t working at full capacity. Or maybe you still don’t know or need the help of experienced professionals to fix the issue. Give us a call today at Chimney Sweeps of America, and we’ll get it taken care of quickly!

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