Q&A Stove down drafts

QandA Posted By QandA, May 26, 2007 at 6:47 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    Dear Webmaster: We have two Quadrafire inserts professionally installed by the dealer in our fireplaces. One stove is on the main floor in our living room, and the second stove is in our basement family room. The fireplaces are, we think, at least 25 years old and the two chimneys to the fireplaces are in good condition and are made of masonry tile with brick covering them. (I think that is what it is called. They are square, orangey-red flue looking things.) The chimneys are side-by-side on the outside of the wall on the north side of the house. The house itself is 50 years old. Our problem is that we have a constant problem of smelling old smoke coming from the inserts and fireplace area when there is no fire in them. We also have a problem of severe down drafts when it is cold outside. What can we do to keep the air from coming back down the chimney and smelling up the house?


    Lorene, there is no simple solution to this problem. A combination of air pressures and flow in your home and the outside chimney mass are to blame. Many home are short on air, because kitchen and bath fans, clothes dryers and other appliances (including fireplaces) rob them of the air...the result is a negative pressure (slight vacuum) in the home, which sucks air wherever it can get it...i.e. the chimneys.

    The other problem involves the couple tons of cold masonry on the outside of the home. As we all know, cold air falls.

    Make certain that their is adequate combustion air in the fireplace areas. Also, satisfy yourself that the inserts are tightly installed with a sheet metal plate fabricated to close off the area below the damper. Purchase some "Stove and Fireplace" deodorant from your local Hearth Store.

    You problem may not go completely away, but it should get easier to take
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