We had our chimney lined 4 years ago and despite the company's claims
that lining the chimney wouldn't effect the draw, it did. We called
the company back 3 times to correct the problem. They placed a fan at
the top of the chimney to draw the smoke out, but this didn't work.
They replaced the fan and it still didn't work. They claimed that the
draw was fine but it wasn't. We had another company come and run a
video through the liner to be sure there were no problems along the
way, and it was completely clean, sealed and clear.
We finally gave up and haven't used the chimney since. I would like
to remedy the situation. What might make this chimney work again? A
stronger fan? How strong? Altering the opening to the fireplace?
Any suggestions would be welcome.
Assuming that the chimney is being used for a standard fireplace, I'd recommend
buying a "certified" fireplace insert. They use smaller chimney pipes (mine uses
6") to work properly. You'll get big bonuses on heat to the house. Instead of
sucking most of your house heat up the chimney, they will actually heat the
house. With a big glass door, you still get the fireplace ambience.
The only problem with mine is that the fan needed to get the most heat from it
is pretty noisy.
My insert has a continuous metal liner fitted to the stove top to the top of the
chimney, which is really nice for cleaning. All the debris ends up inside the
stove, and you don't need to remove the stove from the fireplace to clean the
I used to have a year-round creosote smell in my house from the fireplace
because it would backdraft frequently. By sealing around the stove well when I
installed it, that has gone away.
Is it posible that there an external cause for the problem? For
example. air flow patterns around and over the chimney outlet can be
markedly altered by tree growth or new structures being built nearby.
Changes in your own structure could be contributing, like adding a
dormer or sealing the house too tightly. To get air up the stack you
must bring in some from outside if the Laws of Physics are still
During the 1970s energy crisis, we used a wood stove to heat the house.
Opening a window for a few minutes may help. I think it has to do with the
fire needing a certain amount of air to combust correctly. Ty it. Priceless!
Sometimes in very calm weather (although not likely I'd be putting in
a fire then anyway) it takes a few minutes for chimney to heat up and
fire to 'draw' properly. Also any air going up the chimney has to come
from somewhere within the house. If the house is very tightly sealed
and or there is an an exhaust fan or air exchanger sucking out stale
air somewhere in the house you may have negative pressure. switch of
the fan open a window nearby a crack. Other wise there may be outside
factors; wind coming over edge of roof, chimney not high enough over
local obstructions, interfering trees etc.
Problem I had was fireplace in family room in basement next to furnace
room. When furnace came on it created negative pressure and if there
was not good airflow into room smoke might come out of fire place.
I have a second fireplace and my wife tired of smell of smoke so we
closed family room fireplace off at top and bottom and put in an
electric unit for appearance and a little heat.
Fireplaces and chimney opening size are closely related. There are charts
out there that provide the formula for determining the number of square
inches of chimney flue for the number of square inches of fireplace opening.
If the chimney is too small it will not draw properly.
I think that the only way to line a chimney is to reduce the flue opening.
This may have reduced it down too small for the fireplace size. You may have
to reduce the opening by installing masonry or metal sides and/or top of the
fireplace. Search Google for the charts and determine the new flue size and
its matching fireplace opening size.
Most chimneys for fireplaces are closely matched, changing it can make a big
difference. For stoves and furnaces most chimneys are oversize and lining it
with a smaller liner actually can improve performance. Your sales/installer
people probably were thinking this would apply to your fireplace, but in
reality they know nothing about fireplaces.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.