How to Improve Chimney Draft

Written by steve smith
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How to Improve Chimney Draft
Longer chimneys allow for more draft. (chimney image by Rainer Tagwercher from

Improving your chimney's draft will improve your wood burning. In fact, some experts say a chimney is more important than a hearth in determining how well your fire burns. There are several ways to improve a chimney draft. Some solutions require extensive work, others are fairly straightforward but still involve major changes in the layout of your heart and smoke stack. Making these improvements will better your fire for years to come, however. So, the results will be worth the effort.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pipe cleaning brush
  • Pipe sections

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  1. 1

    Clean the chimney pipe. Both flue tile chimneys and steel pipe chimneys become clogged with soot that reduces the flow of air inside the pipe. Cleaning the pipes with a stiff wire pipe cleaning brush will improve the draft by allowing more air inside the pipes. Also remove obstructions in the chimney or pipe including bird nests, debris, branches or creosote balls.

  2. 2

    Position your wood stove or pellet stove so it is directly under the chimney and reroute your chimney right to the top of the stove. However, this is not possible in every home.

  3. 3

    Remove unnecessary joints in the chimney pipe system. If there are bends in the pipe to route it toward the side of the home, consider rerouting the pipe so it runs straight up through the roof. This may involve moving the entire chimney pipe. So, consider alternatives and weigh the benefits before beginning this project.

  4. 4

    Adjust the diameter of the chimney to accommodate your appliance. Check the recommended chimney pipe diameter for your wood-burning appliance. Then check the diameter of the chimney pipe you have installed. If it is smaller, change the pipe diameter immediately -- it will improve the draft in your chimney. Disassemble the chimney and remove the smaller diameter sections. Then reassemble the chimney with larger diameter pipe.

  5. 5

    Install a round steel chimney pipe inside your square flue. Round chimneys draft better than square chimneys. The steel pipe also prevents soot and creosote build-up, which reduces the draft inside your chimney.

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