How to Preheat Your Chimney Flue and Why it’s Important

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Anyone who has a fireplace in the home can find tips on building and maintaining efficient fires. The chimney and fireplace can also benefit from other steps, and one of these is the preheating of the flue. It might not seem like an important step, but it can help the chimney to operate more efficiently. It can also help in the proper use of fuel.

When someone uses a fireplace, it is essential that the heated air move upward and out of the chimney. The chimney flue plays a role in this function, so a little preheating helps this process along. The fire feeds on air from the home, making the air above it hotter. Since the flue helps to move out this heated air, it makes sense that a warmer flue will make this happen quicker. This will also decrease the chance of byproducts from the fire making their way into the home.

Before Preheating the Flue

If it has been a few hours since the last fire in the fireplace, the flue will be cold. Cold air can also obstruct the movement of heated air and gases away from the fire and up through the chimney. Preheating the flue is not a difficult task, but there are a few things you should get out of the way first, which include:

  • Make sure that there is a regular chimney maintenance schedule in place
  • Fully open the damper before you light a fire
  • Strike a match or use a lighter to test the air flow in the chimney. The flame should look like it is moving upwards. Otherwise, smoke from the fire could go back into the home.

Warming up the Flue

Make sure the damper is open and roll up a newspaper and light one end to make a torch. Hold it up in the chimney to warm up the air and make it rise. Another method is to switch on a blow dryer and move it around inside the chimney. This is not as hot as the torch would be, but it will be enough to preheat the flue and push the heat out once you light a fire.

Make sure that there is enough air in the room to get the fire going quickly by opening a nearby window slightly. Build an efficient fire with seasoned wood and put the logs toward the back of the firebox. If you notice any decline in the performance of the flue or chimney, call a technician right away.

Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill

We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.

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