The Chimney Sweep Company's guide to chimneys, flues and their problems...
Click on a heading to move to the section...
- How a flue works
- Flue Functions
- The smokey fire
- Primary cause of smokiness
- Secondary causes of smokiness
- Damp in flues
- Diagnosing problems
- Further sources of information
There is nothing more frustrating, having just altered or installed a new fireplace or stove, than to find it SMOKES back into the room. The local builder immediately fits a cowl, which often does nothing to help, or makes things worse! The next door neighbour, the milkman, and old Bert down at the pub all nod sagely and come up with their patent cures. Several months and a few hundred pounds poorer, professional advice from the local National Fireplace Association member showroom is finally sought.
Chimneys work on simple physical principles, not by legend or magic and old wives' tales. This paper will briefly look at these principles and help to identify the causes of smokiness.
Problems associated with chimneys can be broadly divided into 3 main types:
- Poor flue pull and the emission of fumes or smoke into the room where the fire/appliance is situated.
- Leakage of smoke and fumes from the flue into adjoining rooms or roof spaces.
- Ingress of water/dampness due to entry of rain into the flue or condensation from the flue gases.
This article will mainly deal with the first above, 'THE SMOKY FIRE'. Fume leakage from the flue will be dealt with more fully in a future article about lining old flues.