In this specific job, Dr. Energy Saver was called in to help this home owner cut energy loss while enjoying the heat of a very peculiar fireplace configuration. His fireplace was fitted with a wood stove, and a stainless steel chimney pipe ran through the masonry flue. In homes with a fireplace, the chimney is one of the biggest air leakage sources in the entire structure, regardless of whether the fireplace is lit or not. Heated air in the living space tends to rise towards areas with colder temperature, and the flue from the fireplace to the top of the chimney is basically a hole in your house providing the ideal escape route for heated air. Closing traditional chimney dampers will not stop air leakages because the typical cast iron damper doesn’t seal too well and allows air to get by.
Wood burning stoves cause a lot of air leakage. When lit, the stove speeds up the leakage process. The stove uses surrounding air for combustion, causing more outside air to be sucked in to replenish the supply. That means that the area next to it might feel warmer thanks to the radiant heat from the fire, but further away from that room, the rooms feel colder, and homeowners can experience cold drafts coming from windows and doors. In addition, the steel pipe expands and contracts with temperature variations. In this case, there were holes around the damper for the air to escape through the masonry flue. To help this homeowner, Dr. Energy Saver installed an air tight chimney cap to stop the air leakage.