Chimney Height: The 2 foot, 10 foot, 3 foot Rule


Folks often have trouble grasping the 2 foot, 10 foot, 3-foot standard. These chimney height measurements are important to meet building requirements. Positing a chimney on the home relative to the rest of the home may cause it to draw better. This will generally cause you fewer problems as a homeowner.

Chimney Height

What is the 2 foot, 10 foot, 3-foot rule? The chimney must extend at least 3’ above the highest point where it passes through a roof. And at least 2’ higher than any portion of a building within 10′. Specifications aren’t there to merely cause you problems. They intend to make sure that the chimney draws properly and that a fire hazard does not occur. If, however, the manufacturer of a factory-built fireplace unit, wood stove, or other appliance has other specifications, these must be followed.

Any peak that is within 10 feet of the chimney can compete with the chimney. This can cause draft problems. This is why the rule calls for the chimney to extend 2 feet above any structure within 10 feet of the chimney. If your home is at a particularly high altitude, I recommend consulting a professional in your area when it comes to these particular specifications. The high altitude and thinner air can possibly cause necessary measurements to differ slightly.

Draft problems are often due to many things!

Chimney draft problems are often due to chimney height or lack thereof. But just as critical is negative pressure issues in the house that cause sluggish drafts. These can include installation of new attic insulation, powerful roof vents, cathedral ceilings, large stairwells, and fans in kitchens as well as bathrooms. Even the addition of new storm windows can change the air balance in the house. Additionally, cold air vents across the fireplace on the wall are notoriously for being sluggish with the draft.

Click here to read more about smoking fireplace problems.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.….Educational Videos….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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