Q&A Turbine Ventilator vs. Vacu-Stak?

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New Member
Staff member
Nov 27, 2012

Hello! I was wondering if you might be able to help me out. The masonry chimney on our wood burning fireplace is not quite taller than our house, and therefore is prone to backdrafting. Currently, we have a turbine style ventilator (also known as a whirlybird, I think) capping the chimney, and this solution seems to have worked well for many years. However, the ventilator is old and needs replacing, but we don't seem to be able to find a similar model. I notice a lot of mention of a vacu-stack as a solution to other people's backdrafting problems and I was wondering about this as a possible replacement for us. Are there any moving parts on it? Do you think it would work as well as the turbine we have now? (If I can get away with it, I'd rather not extend the chimney :) Any help you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much! -JBell


The turbines were really designed to ventilate attic spaces..not really for woodsmoke. I'm amazed that your unit laster so long and did not clog up. The Vacu-Stak and similar products do not have any moving parts..they simply turn the wind toward your fave. The draft will not be improved when there is no wind. Another solution, which is much more expensive, is an electric draft inducer. These fit on the top pf the chimney and can create a strong draft with an electric motor. They cost $500. to $1200. Make certain you use the largest Vacu-Stak that can fit on your chimney.
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