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How Winter Cold Creates Problems with Your Fireplace

The winter cold still continues into the spring here in New Haven, so if you have a fireplace in your home, you’re probably still getting plenty of cozy use out of it. But even though we expect to have hearth flames glowing during the winter, the winter’s cold can cause some serious problems for your fireplace that may require you to hire a professional fireplace repair service to fix the issues.

We’ll look at the problems that harsh cold can create for a fireplace and chimney. Because of the sturdy brick and stone construction of most fireplaces, repairs require specially trained workers. For your fireplace in New Haven, CT, call our hearth and chimney experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning.

Winter Problems for a Fireplace

The No. 1 trouble that cold weather will cause a fireplace is cracking because of moisture. Water will get into a chimney and fireplace during rains or light snow, and moisture will enter small crevices in bricks and mortar and inside the chimney liner. When the temperature drops further, the water will freeze and expand as it becomes ice. This can cause large cracks to develop in the masonry and the chimney liner. This is not only a structural problem, it can allow flames and heat to escape from the chimney and firebox of the fireplace, leading to damage to combustible material or fires starting in upper floors or on the roof. Cracking of any kind needs professional heating system repairs before it turns worse.

The other problem you can encounter in cold weather is trouble with heavy downdrafts (or “negative pressure”). For your fireplace to work properly, it must displace exhaust up the chimney and replace the vacant area with cooler air. Strong winter winds can cause external pressure on the chimney and create problems with proper venting, as well as blow smoke back into your home. This problem can be worse if the chimney isn’t tall enough (an issue that may require extensive reconstruction), or it might come from a damaged damper. If you have serious problems with this, have a professional come out to inspect your fireplace for possible fixes.

Maintain Your Fireplace

To make sure that the problems from cold weather do not compound and worsen, you need to schedule regular maintenance and cleaning for your fireplace and chimney. For professional heating service in New Haven, CT, pick up the phone and give us a call today to set up your next appointment. Don’t forget to ask about our maintenance program so you’ll know how best to care for your cozy hearth.

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