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Ways to Identify and Seal Chimney Drafts: A Winter-Ready Guide

Cold drafts are a problem many people face with their fireplace. Your fireplace is meant to provide heat for your space and draft issues can get in the way of your fireplace performing that function. Typically, draft issues are caused by a malfunction, missing, or broken chimney component or improper damper use. Let’s talk about how you can identify and solve a chimney draft.

drafty chimneys in Hightstown, NJIdentifying Chimney Drafts

If you’re unsure, one way you can check your chimney for a draft issue is by lighting a candle or incense, then hold it near your fireplaces and observe the smoke or flame when your fireplace is not in use. If the smoke or flame move in an unusual pattern, that will signify the presence of a draft. Now that you know there is a draft, you can move on to finding the cause.

What Causes Chimney Drafts?

There are a lot of factors in drafting issues, but let’s talk about some of the most common causes and what you can do about it.

Broken or Missing Chimney Damper

Your damper is the first step. Make sure that your damper is closed when your fireplace is not in use. If your damper is not functioning properly, that could be the cause of the draft issue and it is important to have the damper replaced in order to maintain your fireplaces efficiency.

Cracks or Gaps

Issues with your masonry can also lead to unwanted chimney drafts. When your chimney is not properly sealed it can allow heat from your fireplace to escape as well as open a path for cold drafts to enter. Having any cracks or gaps repaired can help solve your cold air drafts.

Broken or Missing Chimney Cap

Chimney caps are known best for blocking out moisture and debris, but they can also help prevent cold drafts. If your chimney cap is broken or missing it cannot properly block drafts from entering your chimney and fireplace.

Solving a Chimney Draft

Replace Damaged Parts

As we discussed, missing or damaged chimney components such as caps, dampers, and masonry deterioration are a leading factor in unwanted cold air. Have a professional chimney sweep repair any minor or major damages in your chimney to get ahead of the draft.

Fireplace Doors

Fireplace doors are a stylish way to maintain the heat from your fireplace by helping to stop any cold drafts from entering your space. On another note, fireplace doors are also a huge safety upgrade for your fireplace as they can stop embers from escaping while the fireplace is in use.

Chimney Insulation

Insulation in your chimney can create a thermal barrier that keeps the heat in and the chills out. It is recommended to seek professional assistance with any project that involves a complicated chimney system, especially since this process requires cleaning and inspecting your chimney for any cracks or gaps that need to be sealed.

drafty chimney in Robbinsville, NJProper Chimney Maintenance

The best method for stopping an unwanted draft in your fireplace is prevention. Keeping up with your regular maintenance will help ensure a cleaner, more efficient, and properly functioning chimney and fireplace system overall. 

Mercer County Chimney can solve your chimney draft. Our team our chimney professionals can identify any unwanted drafts, their cause, and find the correct solution for you. If you suspect a draft or any other malfunctions in your fireplace or chimney, give us a call today at 609-802-5288 to set up your appointment!