thetophat Boston Chimney Professionals

Chimney / Fireplace Draft Problems Solved



Weekend Appointments available 617-418-4224 / 617-669-0195  mail

On a mission to make that fireplace or wood stove work? If you were never able to use your wood burning wood stove or fireplace unit for fear of smoke, you can now. Also exhausts coal, oil and gas fumes. We will go over every possible solution before we recommend a chimney fan.  In some cases the fan is  the only choice to create the neccesssary draft needed and in the long run the less expensive choic of action..  Can you imagine going through the expense of lining, insulating or extending the chimney and finding the same problems.  Or using the many different types of  “downdraft” caps and adaptors with no success. Smoke Guards , Chimney caps, vacustacks and turbines all have their selected “specific” application as a possible updraft cap to help solve a draft or smoke problem.  It is when you need the benefits of all at once that you know there is a guaranteed solution by using the ENERVEX Chimney Fans. You will find ENERVEX (Exhausto) Chimney Fans on chimneys on The White House in Washington, The Statue of Liberty in New York, in Disney World in Florida and in California, and in several hotel and restaurant chains throughout the US.

Exhausto Fan  is now ENERVEX!   New name - Same Unexcelled Products!

  • Used with oil, gas, wood and coal.
  • Energy efficient motor is standard.
  • Cast aluminum construction.
  • Low silhouette and low weight.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Variable speed.
  • Fan opens for easy cleaning.
  • Easy to install.
  • 2 Year Factory Warranty.
  • 10 Year Corrosion Perforation Warranty.
  • 6 Months Performance Guarantee.
  • ETL-listed to UL 378 Standard for Draft Equipment.

Enervex (Exhausto) Chimney Fan 

Boston Chimney Pros is your source for the Exhausto chimney fan.






It works on… 

  • Wood / Coal Stoves
  • Fireplace Inserts
  • Pellet / Corn Stoves
  • Gas / Propane Fireplaces
  • Basement Stoves & Fireplaces
  • 2 - 3 Sided & Open Pit Fireplaces
  • undersized flues
  • cold outside wall chimneys
  • chimney liners
  • short chimneys
  • high wind areas


Constant Smoking problems are often the easiest to diagnose while being the hardest to correct. Many constant smoking problems are the result of improper construction or design and may require extensive modification of the chimney system to correct. Below is a description of the common design problems which may lead to smoking problems. Damper is Closed Check to see if the damper is open or functioning properly. More people overlook this than you might think!

Inadequate Air Supply Open a window or door as close to the fireplace as possible. If the smoking lessons or stops when the door or window is open, the problem is inadequate air supply. Homes today are designed to be as air tight as possible. The flow of air up the chimney cannot exceed the flow of air into the house. All air removed from the room during the burning process must be replaced by fresh outside air. This air would normally enter the house through small cracks in the doors and windows. Many fireplaces being installed in apartments now come with an "outside air source". A lever or handle will usually be found in or near the fireplace. This can be opened to allow fresh air into the firebox to replace the room air being used. If your fireplace does not have an outside air source one can be installed in masonry fireplaces.

Fireplace Opening is too Large.  This problem typically allows the fire to burn comfortably for a while, but the room will become smoky after a time.  The fireplace opening should be sized based upon a relationship with the chimney flue. An ideal fireplace opening would be no more than ten times the cross sectional area of the chimney flue. For example if the inside dimensions of the flue are 10 x 10 equalling 100 square inches, then the fireplace opening should not exceed 10 times this or 1000 square inches. If a fireplace opening is to large it will allow more air into the fireplace than the flue can exhaust. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. By installing a fireproof shield at the top of the fireplace opening, the effective opening can be reduced. Glass doors could also be used.

The Chimney Flue is obstructed.  Extinguish the fire and look for obstructions. Birds nests are commonly found in chimneys and may often be large enough to restrict flow. Soot and creosote can plug or restrict the airflow of others. If the chimney is older, fallen brick or mortar may be obstructing the flue. Any obstructions must be removed. A blocked chimney is a fire hazard and should never be used until completely cleaned and inspected. Chimneys blocked as a result of structural failure should be condemned and rebuilt.

Improper Construction or Design It is possible that a masonry chimney was poorly designed. If your fireplace consistently smokes and none of the ideas presented above work, It may be that your chimney has design flaws. Please contact our office about this.


The Turbine Ventilator is a dependable rotary that works automatically, continuously and silently without operating or maintenance costs. It is outside braced for strength, safety and perfect alignment. Ventilators up to and including 14” are aluminum braced. Larger sizes are steel braced for additional strength.

Operation is simple and sure. When the slightest breeze touches the scientific blade construction it causes the turbine to rotate. The centrifugal force caused by the revolving turbine creates a partial vacuum within the turbine. This vacuum is then replaced by a strong upward draft of air. A powerful exhaust is thus achieved. Often a solution for Wind Draft Problem




Turbine Ventilators
for Chimney Draft Assist







The lower thrust bearing is a hardened steel ball riding in a hardened steel concave seat (in sizes up to 8”) for extreme sensitivity and wearability. In larger sizes, thrust type ball bearings are used. Upper bearings on all ventilators are bronze oil-less.

The rigid construction of these storm-proof ventilators assures years of efficient service. No adjusting or servicing is required. Galvanized ventilators are painted inside and outside with best quality outdoor aluminum paint.

Empire Turbine Ventilators are available in galvanized steel, aluminum, copper or stainless steel.

Turbines can be used to help a poor drafting chimney.  Measure the outside of the flue for the correct adaptor plate size and turbine.  


Occasional smoking problems are often the most difficult to diagnose , but most are simple to correct, if the problem can be tracked down! A brief description of the most common occasional smoking problems follows. With experimentation and patience we can discover the problem and you may at last enjoy the fire you long to!

Temperature If the temperature outside is fairly close to the inside temperature and their is a high pressure cell in the area, you probably do not have enough air pressure in the house to maintain a draft. The only solution here is to wait for the weather to change.

Competing Vents from other Appliances Check for the existence of competing vents. Kitchen and bathroom fans, or chimneys for other fireplaces or stoves may overpower your chimneys draft by drawing the air they need through the "smoking" chimney. This problem can be solved by ensuring each vent has adequate air flow. If the house is two or more stories, hot air rising and escaping from the top story can reduce the air pressure of the ground floor, and pull air in from the outside, even down the chimney.

Wood Supply Check your wood. Excess moisture in the wood can be one problem. Dense woods which are hard to light can cause an initially cool fire which can result in poor draft and excessive smoke.

Chimney Height Measure the effective height of your chimney. This includes only the part of the chimney that is above the point the woodstove is vented into the chimney or the point above the firebox of a fireplace. Any chimney with an effective height of less then 10 feet will generally cause problems. The chimney or flue pipe must extend out of the top of the roof 3 feet as well as being 2 feet higher than anything within 10 feet around it.

Chimney Cap: Check for obstructions that might form as downdraft. Check your cap height, a too low cap can act as a partial obstruction. We always recommend at least 10" in raincap heights! Roof lines, trees, hills, or nearby structures can all cause downdraft problems. When the wind blows over and down around them, the downdraft simply blows down the flue, sending the smoke into the house. A chimney cap will reduce the effects of those rear vertical blasts of wind.

The Vacu-Stack Chimney Cap solves the two wind related chimney problems -- wind induced downdraft and dynamic wind loading. The streamline flow of the wind around the Vacu-Stack prevents wind from blowing into the chimney -- even when the wind is deflected downward. The Vacu-Stack creates a venturi that causes flue gases to flow up and out of the chimney. 







 Often works for Wind Draft Problems

Vacu-Stacks are tested by an independent testing laboratory. In the absence of wind, Vacu-Stacks provide a more than adequate passage for exhausting flue gases. The open spaces in a properly sized vacu-stack are several times larger than the flue opening. The unique design of the Vacu-Stack gives excellent protection from downdrafts caused by wind, where other devices often fail.There are no moving parts to bind or malfunction.




Other Types of Smoking Problems  Unused Fireplace Smokes while Another is being Used -Often a fireplace will smoke while another in the house is being used due to the "inadequate air flow" idea presented above. This problem can at times be easily solved by raising the flue height of the offending fireplace 6-12 inches. This is an inexpensive job when performed by our company and will in most cases solve the problem.

Smoking When Stove or Glass Doors are Opened-This is most often cured by opening the doors slowly, allowing for the air flow to adjust in the firebox. Opening the draft fully several minuets before opening the doors will raise the temperature and eliminate a lot of the smoke.

Smoking Problems when Household Doors are Opened-A door opened or closed rapidly can result in a change in your homes air pressure, causing the draft to briefly stop or even reverse. An outside air source would solve this type of problem


Sweeping Greater Metropolitan Boston Vicinity and Suburban Eastern MA. 128/495 Areas.

 - Your Chimney Repair Experts in Eastern Massachusetts  -

Inspections , Sweeps, Rebuild,  Repairs , Masonry, Liners , Rain Caps, Flashing, Waterproofing, Animal Removal,

     Call Today for a Inspection 617- 418-4224 / 617-669-0195 email: 


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