Chimney Performance – What DOES a Chimney Do?

What is “good” wood-stove performance

No wood-burning stove, fireplace or furnace can truly function properly without a good chimney.  So let’s define what a “good chimney” actually is:

  • the correct type for the specific appliance, because there are a lot of options, some are not the right type;
  • the correct size for the appliance, which is usually the size of the appliance outlet collar;
  • properly located, up through the heated space of the house;
  • properly installed following building code and/or manufacturer’s instructions exactly correct.

A good chimney and system design produces desirable performance characteristics, such as these:

  • Fires are easy to light and draft builds quickly
  • Smoke doesn’t fill the room when you try to light a fire
  • No smoke spillage when you open the door to tend to the fire
  • No foul/strange odors or cold air from the hearth/fireplace when it is not in use

When planning and installing a wood-burning system, the first thing you need is reliable advice from a professional on matching the appliance to the right type and size of your chimney.  Most wood heat retailers and chimney sweep companies (First Choice Chimney) can guide you.  Also, unless you have done it before, we strongly recommend having your chimney professionally installed by someone who is a trusted professional and has previous satisfied customers.  You don’t want to have to wonder if an incompetent chimney installation is putting your house and family at risk.

What is “good” wood-stove performance:

( it’s actually the chimney that’s doing the performing!)What is “good” wood-stove performance

    • When no fire is burning and you open the stove door, air flows into the stove, not out.
    • When you light a fire, the smoke immediately flows up the chimney and not into the room.
    • A properly built kindling fire burns bright and hot very quickly.
    • When you open the stove door (or fireplace opening) to add more wood, smoke does not spill out.
    • You can run the stove so that you never smell wood smoke in the house.

Think of the chimney as the engine that drives the wood-heating/burning system.  Think of its fuel as heat.  Think of the power it puts out as draft.  The more fuel (heat) you give this engine (chimney), the more power (draft) it will deliver.  So, the hotter the exhaust gases, the more draft is produced.  Draft, by the way, is good… It’s the suction that keeps the smoke from coming into the room.What is “good” wood-stove performance

For any help or advice with your wood burning appliance or chimney, simply call us here at First Choice Chimney: (817) 791-4606