In order for your fireplace to burn safely and efficiently, all its components need to work together. One chimney component that has a major impact on fireplace performance is the chimney throat. Despite being rarely mentioned and often forgotten, the chimney throat plays an important role in the drafting dynamics of your chimney system.
What is a chimney throat?
Located at the top of the firebox directly below the damper, the chimney throat is the space through which the smoke, hot air, and gas from the fire first pass as they draft up the chimney. Chimney throats should be built wide enough to draw up the byproducts of combustion from a fire, but not so large that air coming down the chimney pushes smoke back into the room.
To draw an analogy from our own respiratory systems, chimney throats are much like our own: they should be should be open, smooth, and streamline. Any blockages or narrowing to the chimney throat can disrupt drafting, causing smoke buildup, chimney odors, and other draft-related issues.
Reducing draft issues with throat repairs
Although it is just a small part of the overall chimney system, a number of draft problems can originate in the chimney throat. Chimney throats that do not have smooth sides, have been damaged, or were poorly installed can all cause draft problems. Smoke blowback and odors are two of the many draft problems that can occur with a damaged throat.
At Pristine Sweeps, we are proud to offer our customers Rumford chimney throats. Built with a streamline, squared off, flat throat, this throat design creates an easy and direct air flow for the byproducts of combustion. Rumford throats can be used to repair or replace your existing damaged chimney throat.
What about the damper?
Located at the top of the firebox directly above the throat, a throat damper can also affect your chimney’s ability to draft correctly and burn efficiently. Over time, the damper can deteriorate or become damaged due to overexposure to heat, rust from a chimney leak, or simple wear and tear from years of use.
A throat damper with an airtight seal is an important part of making sure your fireplace drafts correctly. A damper that has lost this seal can no longer stop the flow of conditioned and outside air between the fireplace and chimney. In addition to costing you extra in additional heating and cooling costs, it can create a negative pressure situation that affects burn performance and drafting. Having the damper repaired, replaced, or switching to a top sealing damper can prevent this.
Don’t put off your throat repairs!
While chimney throats are rarely discussed, they play in important role in your fireplace’s ability to draft correctly. By having the throat of your chimney repaired or replaced you can help eliminate draft problems such as smoke blow back or chimney odor. If you are in the Seattle area, contact Pristine Sweeps today for more information about throat repairs.