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The Dangers Of Negative House Pressure

Negative House Pressure Image - Lake Norman NC - SirVent ChimneyIf you own a fireplace, it is important to be aware of the harsh side effects that negative air pressure can cause in a home. It is an issue that should be addressed as soon as possible in order to keep your house running efficiently and your family in good health. If you are worried that there is a negative pressure problem within your house, call a certified chimney professional today so that a resolution can be found.

Detecting Negative Pressure

There are many signs that may indicate your home is experiencing issues with negative pressure. Check out some of these below.

  • Unexplained Illness: If friends and family always seem to leave your home complaining of feeling ill, then air flow issues may be the culprit behind this occurrence. Take note as to whether or not these symptoms fade when people go back outside. If this is the case, call in a chimney sweep as soon as possible to ensure that your family stays safe and healthy.
  • Backdraft: Does smoke fill the room anytime you try to light a fire? This means that the air is not escaping properly and that venting issues are occurring. An expert will be able to look at the various causes as to why this may be happening. If everything with the structure of the chimney checks out, then it is likely negative air pressure causing problems within the home.
  • Mold And Mildew: Mold and mildew accumulation is another sign of pressure issues. It accumulates when a house is not given the opportunity to ventilate fresh air throughout it. When air sits, it becomes stale and heavy, causing condensation to occur and creating the perfect environment for mold to form.
  • Stagnant Odor: When air cannot ventilate like it is supposed to it simply sits, which means all of the odors throughout a home sit with it. Clean air needs to flow regularly in order to maintain a fresh atmosphere. Smells from cooking, laundry, pets, and the other various odors that accompany a busy family will not be given a chance to escape if the airflow is not circulating properly.

Resolving The Issue

The best thing you can do if you suspect an issue with negative pressure inside of your home is call in a professional to check things out. Someone who is trained and certified will know exactly where to look and what to inspect in order to find the culprit behind your air flow issues. They can also guide you to various answers to the problem, so that you can find the best solution for your unique situation.

At SirVent Chimney and Venting Service, our experts are ready and willing to help you with any backdraft or pressure issues that you may be facing. Give us a call today and make an appointment!

Why Chimneys Tend to Smell Bad in the Summer

Fireplace smells and chimney odor problems may be attributed to a variety of different things. Fireplace smells come from creosote deposits—a natural byproduct of burning wood—inside your chimney. The odors are usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high, on rainy days, and/or when your air conditioner is running. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can help minimize your fireplace and chimney odors!

Creosote Buildup - Lake Norman NC - SirVent

This image is courtesy of Dennis Lamb of Mad Hatter Chimney Service in Indianapolis IN.

When in doubt, always blame the creosote

Creosote absorbs into the porous masonry construction inside your chimney, embedding the fireplace smell deep beyond the masonry’s surface. A chimney sweep will remove the surface buildup of creosote to limit the possibility of a chimney fire; however, the odors that have absorbed into the masonry itself will remain. So how can you keep the smell out of your house? The answer to this question should come as no surprise. A chimney sweeping will go a long way towards removing those unpleasant odors from your home!

You could be dealing with negative pressure problems

The real problem is air coming down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems. Normally, as long as the draft is working correctly and there is no negative airflow in the home, the smells should remain in the chimney. In the event that negative airflow becomes a problem, the air brings the inner fireplace smells and chimney odors right along with it as it comes down your chimney. It is likely that your chimney is just the victim of a negative pressure problem. A quick solution to the negative air pressure is to crack a window at all times to let the pressure change through the window rather than the chimney.

Top-sealing dampers to the rescue

For a more permanent approach to keeping the smell that’s exuding from your fireplace and chimney’s masonry in the chimney and away from your nose, you need to limit the amount of air that’s able to come down your chimney in the first place. Closing your throat damper is a good start, however, the metal-on-metal closure is far from airtight. A top-sealing damper can help to minimize the airflow and accompanying fireplace smells from coming down your chimney. In addition to limiting the airflow problems, the top-sealing damper will keep rainwater and moisture out as well.

There’s never a bad time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned (although the wait time for an appointment is greatly reduced during the non-peak times—spring and summer—of year). Keeping up with annual inspections and sweepings allows you and your family to enjoy the warmth and ambiance that your fireplace brings, without worry. The professionals at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service are available all year round to inspect and clean your chimney. Let us give you the peace of mind you’re looking for—call or click to schedule your sweeping today! Don’t allow these smells to become a problem for you. As soon as you first notice unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace, nip the problem in the bud.