Chimney Guide Hints and Tips
There are several reasons* why your fire or stove may not draw properly some or all of the time and the Windkat is the solution to many of these problems. There are however certain issues that not even the Windkat can solve alone. These include:
Insufficient air supply
Fires need a constant and plentiful source of air to burn effectively. If your room is fairly draft free, try opening a door or window to see if the extra air improves your fire. Although the Windkat can improve draw, if there is insufficient airflow into the room it will be powerless to help.
Chimney not high enough
Taller flues tend to draw better than shorter flues. Low chimneys (below 5m from the top of the fireplace or stove to the top of the flue) are prone to poor draw and downdraught problems. The Windkat will solve perhaps 75% of the problems caused by flues being too short, but in the remaining 25% of cases and definitely where the flue is less than 4m high, it is also necessary to extend the height of the flue. Due to popular demand, we now offer the Windkat with a 0.5 meter extension (link). The Windkat extension is made from high quality twin walled stainless steel flue pipe as maintaining the temperature of flue gases is very important for draw.
Obstructions including roof ridge higher than chimney
The Windkat is the only cowl to reliably solve draw and downdraught problem in fires with flues that terminate well below the height of the roof ridge. There are however certain situations where local wind conditions coupled with extreme air currents caused by the roof (or other obstructions especially if they are above the height of the chimney) mean the Windkat must be lifted out of the particular problem zone in order to function properly. The addition of the 0.5m meter Windkat extension does this effectively and reliably in the vast majority of cases. The extension does not need to raise the Windkat above the ridge of the roof, its purpose is simply to give the Windkat some distance from the roof which alleviates the sometimes extreme pressure differences that can exist with very close proximity to roofs.
*important. The above suggestions assume that your fireplace, stove, flue and chimney are all in a good state of repair having been regularly swept and checked by a qualified chimney sweep.