If You’ve Got Ventilation & Draft Problems – Lords Chimney Is The Answer

Drafting problems are very common with chimneys. Though there are a whole host of reasons why your chimney may be drafting improperly, the solutions are usually quite simple. With a routine inspection, a chimney technician will be able to determine what is at the root of the problem and present you with your best options for repair. It is important to give venting and drafting problems your immediate attention, as problems with ventilation can result in smoke or carbon monoxide entering your living space and damaging your home or health.

At Lords Chimney, we have many ways of diagnosing and curing your ventilation problems, and we always begin with the easiest (and most inexpensive) cure, using more extensive solutions only as necessary.

Before we tell you what may be the problem with your chimney’s venting or drafting, let us explain how a chimney works and what function a draft plays in an efficient and properly functioning heating appliance. Essentially, when a fireplace “drafts,” it moves the byproducts of combustion—including smoke and harmful gases—up your chimney and into the outside air. Though hot air rises naturally, lots of things can get in the way of proper drafting, meaning that you end up with smoke, soot, and toxic gases in your home. This is called backdrafting.

Potential Problems With Ventilation And Drafting

Some of the drafting problems we find and correct most commonly are due to:

  • A broken or damaged damper
  • Incorrect firebox size
  • Incorrect chimney height
  • A chimney flue blocked by debris
  • Improper installation of chimney and/or heating appliance
  • Dirty or improper chimney cap
  • Structural damage within chimney
  • Creosote build-up
  • Animals nesting in chimney
  • Another appliance in room—such as a central vacuum, clothes dryer or a forced air furnace—that’s also competing for air within the house
Direct Vent Termination and drafting problem on white hardy board planks with black soot going up the side.

Negative Pressure Or Flow Reversal

A common problem with chimney ventilation is related to negative pressure issues. As air is removed from the home through fans or vents (i.e. bathroom fans, kitchen fans etc.), it must be replaced– but because today’s homes are built so air-tight, in many cases, the only place to bring air in is through the chimney. This explains many common complaints such as:

  • Cold air coming from the fireplace when not in use
  • Odor problems (i.e. the smell of wet ash or wet wood)
  • Respiratory issues

Although glass doors can help reduce the flow reversal, they won’t actually eradicate the problem.

Let Lords Chimney Help!

Here at Lords Chimney, we’re experienced in all sorts of ventilation problems, and can offer you quality solutions that work! If you live in the Houston area and are experiencing problems with smoke, draft or air quality in your home, let Lords Chimney help. We are skilled and experienced at diagnosing and repairing drafting problems, and we’re confident we can help you. Give us a call at 281-497-4000, or use our appointment request form.


We can troubleshoot to discover what’s causing a smelly fireplace and advise you on the best way to get the problem fixed for good! Ask us how this could work for you.