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Chimney It is the Engine That Drives the Wood Heat System

Chimney It is the Engine That Drives the Wood Heat System

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Published by MoreMoseySpeed

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Published by: MoreMoseySpeed on Jan 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The chimney It is the engine that drives the wood heatsystem
How Chimneys Work 
When people report problems with the performance of their wood burning systems, thecause is often traced to the chimney. Selecting the correct chimney and designing thelayout of the installation is critical to good performance. And knowing how chimneyswork is useful in the day-to-day operation of the appliance.Chimneys operate on the principle that hot air rises because it is less dense than cold air.When a chimney is filled with hot gas, that gas tends to rise because it is less dense thanthe air outside the house. The rising hot gas creates a pressure difference called draftwhich draws combustion air into the appliance and expels the exhaust gas outside.Two factors affect the amount of draft produced by a chimney.1.
the hotter the gases in the chimney compared to the air outside, the stronger the draft.2.
the taller the chimney, the more draft it will produce at a giventemperature difference.The table below shows how heat in the chimney and chimney height work together to produce draft.
Pressure differences resulting from various temperature differences andvarious stack heights, in pascals 
Averagetemperaturedifference °F(°C)
Note: Thisis theaveragetemperaturebetweenthe gas inthe stack(top tobottom)and theoutside air
26 39 52 65 78 92 105
24 36 48 60 73 85 97
21 32 43 54 64 75 86
18 26 35 44 52 61 70
11 17 23 28 34 39 45
7 10 13 16 20 23 26
4 5 7 9 11 13 14
2 2 3 4 5 5 6
10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Height of stack in feet
 Notes:1.Thered figuresin the body of the table are the number of pascals of pressuredifference that result from the intersectingtemperature differenceandstack  heights. One Pa is equal to 0.004 inches of water column ("wc).2.The lower two rows of the table body can be used to roughly estimate total stack effect (- & + values) in houses during cold weather.3.A single point flue gas temperature measurement, usually at the flue pipe, willgive a higher temperature than the average for the total system because of heatloss through the chimney, and therefore will inflate actual draft levels unless acorrection is applied.4.Combustion and venting system height measurements should be taken from the base of the firebox; i.e. from where it gets hot.The chimney's function is to produce the draft that draws combustion air into theappliance and safely exhaust the combustion gases to the outside. But a good chimneymust do more than that. It must:
 protect the house structure from the hot gases passing through it;
tolerate the high gas temperatures that can result from chimney fires;
conserve flue gas heat to produce strong draft;
resist corrosion on the inside and weather effects on the outside; and
 be sealed to prevent leakage.Here are some basic guidelines for effective chimney installations. Your local coderequirements might differ from these, so it is best to check.
The chimney should be installed within the house rather than up an outsidewall
. When chimneys run up outside walls, they are exposed to the outside coldand this chilling effect can reduce the available draft at the appliance. Chimneysthat run up through the house benefit from being enclosed within the warm houseenvironment, produce stronger draft and accumulate fewer creosote deposits.
Chimneys installed inside the building performfar better than outside chimneys. Even whenthere is no fire burning, an inside chimney willproduce some draft.Not only do outside chimneys cool, leading tocold backdrafts, but they also introduce at leasttwo 90 degree changes in flow direction, whichalso hinders performance.
Taller chimneys usually produce stronger draft. A rule of thumb for minimumheight states that the total system height (from the floor the appliance is mountedon to the top of the chimney) should never be less than 4.6 m (15 ft.). Mostnormal installations exceed this height, but installations in cottages with shallow- pitch roofs may not. If draft problems are experienced with short systems,consider adding to the chimney height. If draft problems are experienced withsystems higher than the recommended minimum system height, adding to thechimney may have little or no effect. Most draft problems have to do withinadequate gas temperature in the chimney.
The top of the chimney should extend not less than 1 m (3 ft.) above the point itexits the roof, and 600 mm (2 ft.) higher than any roof, building or other obstaclewithin a horizontal distance of 3 m (10 ft.). These rules are the minimum required.It is often better to make the chimney taller to avoid wind turbulence. A goodobjective is to have the top of chimney above the roof peak, and this is mucheasier if the chimney penetrates the roof near the peak. Note that in the graphic below, the chimney on the left will not function well because it penetrates thehouse envelope below its highest level, and because it is outside being chilled for much of its length.

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