Q&A Cold air coming down chimney

QandA Posted By QandA, Jun 13, 2004 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    By your address I see that you are a fireplace expert...wonderful news for me. I moved into this old house 6 months ago with a beautiful real fireplace in the family room. I had the chimmney cleaned and the gas starter checked. Looks great but in certain atmospheric conditions- cold wind pours down the open damper and any fire fills the room with smoke. I've tried all methods of trying to heat up the chimney first (gas on first for 10-15 min- tiny fires to big fires- etc) and nothing works. What am I to do??? Thanks for your help...


    You have "flow reversal" a common problem. As we all know- cold air falls...so between that and the fact that mose houses lose air through bath and kitchen fans-etc.- your chimney is pulling the wrong way.There is no real solution to the problem except to start fires a certain way..Here's what works for me.
    1. Push a balled up piece of newspaper past the damper.
    2. Light it- and it will usually start the draft.
    3. Immediately light your fire so the warm air follows it up.
    4. Run a hot fire for the first hour or two in order to get the mass warmer.

    More information at https://www.hearth.com/what/specific.html
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