Bitterly cold conditions will continue across the Midwest eastward to the Atlantic coast this week as arctic high pressure builds in behind a cold front, according to the National Weather Service.

This is a good opportunity to educate homeowners about how cold impacts your chimney, particularly if it is on the outside of the house.

Remember, warm rising air is the basic engine involved here.

If you have a large masonry chimney on the outside of the house, and it’s cold outside, the air inside of the chimney will also be very cold, and it will want to fall down the chimney instead of rising.

This can even happen a day or two after it’s warmed up outside. These chimneys may be hard to start and they may smoke as the fire burns low.

To help get the fire started many people light some rolled up newspaper and hold it up near the damper to get that cold plug moving upwards.

Keeping a moderate sized but bright, actively flaming fire can also help this situation.

Remember that as the fire dies down, it will revert back to the original direction of flow.

For more homeowner resources, go to our website! You can also find approximately 1,500 CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps, one of whom may be in your zip code.