For hundreds, even thousands of years, many families have found comfort and community sitting with one another around their family fireplace. It keeps us warm and brings us together, but as we all know, fire can be dangerous if not properly taken care of. If you are in need and looking for a Lawrence Chimney Sweep, be sure to read these great informational tips for your next fire this winter with your family and friends.

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Lawrence Chimney Sweep | Two Types of Fireplaces

There are two most common types of Fireplaces. Masonry fireplaces and factory built fireplaces. It’s very simple to check on your own which kind you have. When you have a brick fireplace and the chimney outside your home is brick, and when you look up the inside of the chimney, it is most likely a masonry fireplace. If it is primarily metal, both on the inside and the outer chimney above your home, then you are most likely dealing with a factory built fireplace.

Lawrence Chimney Sweep | The Way It Works

Nobody realizes but your house itself helps your chimney. Your house is like an air flow system. Air comes into your house through the foundation, and is released through the top of house. Your fireplace needs this airflow. There are many different things that affect the airflow of your home. Wind loading, stack effect, interior mechanical systems, and your fuel burning systems, such as furnaces, water heaters, or fireplaces themselves. We all know that heat rises, as does the warm air in your home. Houses that have been built within the past twenty five years or so have been built more sealed then they used to be, creating a more difficult airflow in homes, but this process is call the stack effect.

Neutral Pressure Plane

With all of this airflow, somewhere in the middle is what they call the NPP, Nuetral Pressure Plane. This is where the negative and positive pressures meet. Below this plane is the negative air pressure, which is why at the foundation your home is trying to pull air in. Above this plane is the positive pressure, which is why air is being forced out through the top of your home.

Wind Loading

Now, wind loading is the change in the air pressure within your home due to the wind hitting the side of your house. We have talked a lot about airflow within the home, now with pressure changes if you open windows on the windy side of the house it will cause a draft up the chimney to help airflow. If you open a window on the opposite side of the house it could create suction and actually pull air and odors down through the chimney into the house. These are some helpful little tips to be aware of when confronting your chimney needs.

Mechanical Devices in Your Home

I am sure you did not realize that the devices in your home such as your dryer and the fans, can also depressurize the area especially around your fireplace. This makes it more difficult for a natural draft airflow to take place. So unless these devices are taking airflow directly from outside via a vent, it could also be throwing off the pressure in your home. If your chimney is ever not getting good airflow it could mean a number of things, such as creosote build up, damage in your chimney, clogged dampers and more. The best thing to do is have regular maintenance by a professional Lawrence Chimney Sweep. Make sure they are knowledgeable and certified chimney sweepers.

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