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What Prevents Fireplaces from Filling a Home with Smoke?


The first indoor hearths had a simple ventilation system: a hole cut into the roof where the smoke could waft away to the outside. Modern fireplaces have flues, which carry combustion gases out of your home. There are a few different types of flues used in homes today.

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If you need service for fireplaces in Suffern, NY, contact Design Air Inc today. We can perform most maintenance on the spot so that you won’t have to worry about smoke getting into your home.

The most common type of flue is inside a chimney, which draws the hot, smokey air up via natural draft. You can have a lined or unlined flue, and you can also install a chimney cap to help with ventilation and prevent weather or animals from entering your chimney.  Chimneys operate from the basic principle of physics that hot air rises because it is less dense than cold air. The pressure difference created by the rising hot gas is called “draft,” and it draws the combustion up through the chimney. The chimney lining absorbs some of this heat to prevent the bricks from warming up too much and igniting flammable building material around it. The taller the chimney, the more draft it will produce at a given temperature difference. This is the reason that chimney design should be handled professionally, so it will not produce draft problems.

People are often curious about how freestanding fireplaces, like freestanding wood and pellet stoves, work. They don’t require chimneys, so how is the smoke ventilated? Most use a balanced flue, which is built directly into a wall and into a ventilation shaft. If the house already has a chimney, the stove can “tap in” to it through a wall.

Direct power flues are also available, which use a fan to suck combustion gases and vent them outside. Since these types of flues can be exteneded, it allows you to install a fireplace away from an external wall.

If you are planning to have a fireplace insert or a freestanding stove installed, make sure you go through professionals to have it done. You can purchase low-cost stoves and inserts through large merchandisers, but they rarely meet the EPA’s minimum standards and will have short service lives. Fireplace professionals have the best range of available models, and they will install them to meet EPA guidelines and provide you with long lasting heat.

Design Air Inc offers comprehensive fireplace installation and repair services for inserts, gas logs, and freestanding wood and pellet stoves. We have a Master Hearth Professional on staff to answer your questions. If you need help with your fireplace, or if you are interested in seeing the fireplaces in Suffern, NY that we offer, contact Design Air Inc today.