5+ Ways To Stop A Drafty Chimney [Fireplace Cold]

  • According to some DIY experts we consulted, you might need a chimney inspection (Source) to get an overview of the issue
  • One common reason: you might be missing a chimney cap 
  • It can actually be quite difficult to eliminate all drafts from your wood fireplace– because depending on the type of chimney, if the chimney has a metal liner, the metal liner will get quite cold and cold air sinks into the house, and hot air rises
  • If this is the problem, supplement with styrofoam insulation, cutting it to size, and placing it up in the chimney- this can help somewhat (though you’ll probably want to consult a professional, or at least watch a video)
  • You can buy a fireplace plug– they come in different sizes and will block drafts when the fireplace isn’t in use
  • You can try out a chimney cap damper–  because it closes from the top, unlike a normal flue, you don’t have a column of air and moisture
  • You can also install a gas fireplace insert, or even an electric fireplace to eliminate draft issues

Fireplaces are designed to keep the home warm and toasty over the winter. There are some issues with drafts when the fireplace is not in use. Fireplace drafts can make a home cold and will let all of the hot air out. These are some tips to help stop a fireplace draft.

Reasons For A draft: Stopping Cold Air Coming From Fireplace

There may be several things that are causing a draft from the fireplace. A person should go through the issues to make sure they are addressing the problem.

No Prepping

Before the fireplace is used and especially before the temperature drops it is important to have the flue primed.

If the flue is too cold smoke will not be able to leave the home. This air needs to flow up and out of the opened flue. If the flue is not primed all of the hot air will rise and a cold draft will be left in the home. Since hot air rises it will go right out of the home. Priming the fireplace is not difficult. Make sure you read about how to deal with smoking fireplaces!

There is a safety log that can be burned in the fireplace. This will allow the flue to heat up and the air in it to get warm too. Once the air is warmed at the top the smoke will be able to escape and leave the hot air in the home.

Draft Guard

A fireplace draft guard or a fireplace cover will help block the opening of the fireplace when it is not being used.

It can also help clear out the fireplace when it has been closed down for the reason. There are different styles of draft guards and they are easy to install.

They are attached to the metal face of the fireplace using simple magnets. They can be custom made or they can even be made from a foam board or plywood.

Glass Doors

fireplace cover

Glass doors on the fireplace will help prevent drafts. The doors should be closed when the fireplace is not in use. When the fireplace is in use all a person has to do is open the doors. The glass will help keep the draft from entering the home. Glass fireplace doors look pretty which is a nice bonus.

Read more about fireplace screens vs glass doors.


A damper is located at the top of the chimney. The damper will allow the smoke to escape when the fire is burning.

It will also keep heat from escaping the home when the fireplace is not being used. If a person does not have a damper they need to have one installed. This can reduce drafts and is also a safety issue. If the damper is damaged it will need to be replaced.

Damaged dampers will allow the warm air to escape the home and the cold air to get in causing a draft. When the fireplace is not being used a closed damper will stop drafts from entering the home. It is best to have the damper checked annually to make sure it is still in good shape.

Fireplace Insert

A gas or electric fireplace insert will allow a person to have the heat that a fireplace offers and the efficiency they would get if they had a wood stove. This will help reduce drafts in the home. It is an option for those that may struggle with a draft fireplace and are looking for an efficient way to heat the home.

Gas Insert

Electric Vs Gas Fireplace Insert

This is an option for those that want to get rid of the draft. With a gas insert, there will be no draft from the fireplace. This will allow a person to have a modern fireplace and the gas insert is not too expensive. Many fireplaces will work with the gas insert and it will provide heat to the home.


Gas Fireplace

If a fireplace is old there may be issues with its structure. A person may need to have their fireplace remodeled if it is falling apart. This will help prevent drafts from getting into the home and make the fireplace safe to use.

A fireplace is nice to have in the home and it can keep the home warm during the cooler months. Fireplaces can cause drafts. A person needs to be proactive and follow the advice above to keep drafts from entering the home so they can enjoy the fireplace.

In Summary

I hate it when my fireplace gets drafty. I have a wood-burning fireplace and it’s really drafty. I’ve tried to seal the cracks with caulk but it doesn’t work. What else can I do?

The first thing you can do is to make sure that the damper is closed and not letting any air from outside get in. If you have a metal chimney, make sure that it’s not cracked or broken because this will let air in as well.

You should also check your fireplace for cracks or holes near the opening of the flue pipe. These are common places where drafts come in through so you’ll want to seal them up with caulk or something similar.

Drafty fireplaces can be a common problem for homeowners, but they don’t have to be! There are a few ways you can do this with some simple DIY fixes that we’ve outlined above.

Some of the most common causes of draftiness include poor installation, gaps between the masonry and the hearth, and improper sealing. In this post we’ll go over some quick fixes that you can do to keep your fireplace from being drafty.

This is a common problem that many homeowners have to deal with. Luckily, there are a few ways to fix this issue.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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