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Do I need to keep chimney vents upstairs?

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by DomK1234, 2 Dec 2020.

  1. DomK1234

    DomK1234

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    Hello All,

    I think my house is Edwardian, but might be Victorian, so 1910-20...

    There are two chimney breasts (if that's the right term) in the reception rooms downstairs, with closed up fireplaces. There is one vent in each breast.

    Upstairs is exactly the same. Two bedrooms with a chimney breast in each (as if they're connected to the downstairs ones) and a vent in each. No fireplaces.

    The upstairs chimney breasts vents make the rooms very cold, so I was wondering - are the two chimneys the same (the same flue?), and could I get away with closing off upstairs vents because it's vented downstairs?

    Related question: if they aren't the same flues, can I put closable ones on the upstairs that i can get away with closing only during the winter?

    Hope that makes sense. Thanks in advance.

    Dom
     
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  3. no theyre not the same and yes keep them vented. yes you can use closable ones.
     
  4. DomK1234

    DomK1234

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    Lovely. Thanks for your help.
     
  5. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    DomK1234, good evening.

    Each fireplace in the chimney breast will have its own dedicated individual flue. OK two chimney breast? each containing two flues.

    The inclusion of vents in all rooms is good, any un-used chimney flue should be vented, this is to prevent a build up of condensation within an individual chimney flue, if the chimney flue is not vented, then damp marks / staining WILL occur in various rooms.

    As an aside, it is very, very desirable to have "vented" caps located on the chimney pots at roof level, they look like low mushrooms with holes around the perimeter of the cap.

    Can I suggest you try a [very] Hi-Tec fast test ? hold a single sheet of tissue paper against each of the vents, if the paper is either drawn towards or repelled away from the vent in each room will indicate that the chimney flue is clear and that there is indeed a flow of air.

    Yes you can fit a so called "hit and miss" vent in the bedrooms, which will give you control over air flow, but do the check as last para. Drawback is that if you forget the vent is closed for a period of time you may ??? end up with damp marks in the rooms???

    Ken.
     
  6. DomK1234

    DomK1234

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    Thanks Ken. Very useful.

    I knew I need to get those caps fitted but have never got around to it - will keep it high on the list of things to be done.

    Definitely air coming through the upstairs ones as it's freezing! And the tissue test tells us that downstairs also have a fair flow.

    Think I will fit the closable ones upstairs and just do it when it's really cold, as the clingfilm is not a great look. I think someone tested walls and breasts for damp recently and it was all good, so I'm starting from an ok place and will just be careful.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. foxhole

    foxhole

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    The flues should draw upwards and not be a source of cold air .
     
  8. even if they draw upwards theyll pull warm air from the room and cold air in through external vents and gaps in flooring windows and doors. so theyre a source of cold no matter what.
     
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