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Chimneys & Fireplaces

Chimney Draft‏

Question: I have been dealing with a severe draft from my chimney that actually extinguishes the pilot light in my furnace. My children are all out of town so when I visit them I am on pins and needles worrying about the furnace going out. Last year, it happened while I was away and resulted in all the pipes in my house getting frozen. The damages were over nine thousand dollars and I put in an insurance claim. Of course, my premium went up. But this year, it happened twice again. Luckily, I was here to re-light it. I've had a chimney cap installed and my plumber tried some kind of backup system, but it still happens. Any suggestions?

Answer: This is definitely something that you have to correct.

  1. Purchase a bimetallic flue damper. It works like the bimetal strip in a heating thermostat. When cold one side is longer so the strip bends. With this type of damper no electricity is consumed and no power is required to make it work. When cold this type of damper closes off about 85% of the flue cross-section. They have been in use since ~ 1980.
  2. Relocate the flue on the roof using a 45-degree run in the attic.