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Chimney damper...?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Scott2373, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Scott2373

    Scott2373 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    Williamson, New York
    With all the wind here in Upstate NY right now, we're having a heckuva time keeping the fire going enough to prevent backpuffing. The wife says she has to keep the air open fully to keep the fire from dying and smoke coming in. This raises the question as to whether there is a product out there to prevent this, such as some sort of damper on the chimney that will close if the wind gusts, preventing the wind from zooming down into the stove. Thanks!

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,809
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    There are chimney caps that deflect the wind, but this normally isn't an issue. Do you have a strong draft normally? How tall is your chimney?

    Matt
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    It sounds like you may have a backdraft issue Scott. We live in a high elevation spot for our town and have that issue as well there is a cap made for this that we ended up buying. Here is the link to it -- http://www.woodlanddirect.com/Chimney/Wind-Resistant-Chimney-Caps . A damper wont help with a down draft issue in my experience it tends to make it worse because you already have too little draft on windy days due to the wind pushing down the chimney. If in fact it is not down draft then a damper could fix to high of a draft however you should not get smoke in the house with to high of a draft instead you will have a hard time keeping the fire low burning. It will want to burn very hot all of the time instead of smoke into the house or put out the fire.

    Pete
  4. Scott2373

    Scott2373 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    Williamson, New York
    The chimney is approximately 20' tall, but the only problem we ever have is when the wind blows very strongly. As you are, Pallet Pete, we too are on a high elevation in our part of town and there are no natural wind blocks near enough to the house to slow the wind. Our draft is actually very good normally. I've posted in a previous thread that if I open my stove door, I actually get less draft than if I close and lock it. I was told that this is because my draft is very good. It seems like if that chimney cap causes a "partial vacuum", then I'm afraid I'd have a flame thrower out of my stack when a good gust of wind whips through. I'm still relatively new to wood burning as a primary heat source; this is my second year. With that, I'm always open to new ideas and suggestions. After all, this forum is where I learned everything I know! :)
  5. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    There are many things that can cause a downdraft the 2 biggest are..

    A ) No obstructions
    This is caused by nothing to slow down the wind before it goes over the chimney and down. Your flue works by air passing over top and drawing the air out in essence. Barometric Pressure

    B) Having to many obstructions
    To many objects can actually cause a whirlwind effect above your chimney think of a balloon filled with air but not moving. This causes the air in the chimney to slow down and not draft properly and in most cases lets wind go down the chimney causing a downdraft. This was our problem !

    It sounds like you may have a combination of both if you live in town that allows air to fly freely which in most cases is not bad. Do you have a high building or tree line within sight of your house ? Even at a big distance this can throw the air up and when the wind is right it will blow down into your chimney. These caps solve both issues by evening the air flow and breaking up the wind so that it passes through the cap in a straight line. The one advantage we have found is on a very low wind day it actually increases our draft and makes the stove burn much better.

    Pete
  6. Scott2373

    Scott2373 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    Williamson, New York
    There are tree lines on both sides of the house but each is over 600' away. I'll have to look into one of those. Thank you!

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