Top Reasons Why Your Chimney Isn’t Working Right

Top Reasons Why Your Chimney Isn’t Working Right

It can be frustrating when your chimney isn’t working properly because it makes it impossible to have a fire at all. The problem can be an issue with the wood you’re burning or the chimney itself. In any case, it’s important to identify the problem and get it taken care of promptly so you can enjoy the warm glow of your fireplace once again, and you can do that safely. Here are some possible reasons your chimney isn’t working correctly.

Green Wood

If the wood you’re using hasn’t been properly seasoned, you’re sure to have problems like excess smoke and ash that can make your fire far less enjoyable. Examine your wood supply and make sure it looks faded in color and feels light in weight. It should make a hollow sound when you knock on it and a loud cracking sound when it splits rather than a dull thud. Moisture in your wood is bad not only because it produces excess smoke, but it doesn’t burn as hot as well-seasoned wood, which means it’ll create more soot. This causes creosote to build up in the chimney and increases the chances of a chimney fire.

Damper Problems

If you’ve double-checked that the damper is open and smoke is still coming into your home, there might be issues with the damper that you can’t see. In some cases, the damper may have a problem that’s preventing it from staying open. If it’s in need of repair, it’ll be difficult to open, or it may not open at all. If this is the case, make sure you have the damper repaired as soon as possible.


Obstructions can be quite common, especially if you don’t have a chimney cap or the current one is damaged. A blockage can be caused by rodents or birds that build nests in the chimney. It can also be caused by debris that enters and builds up. Creosote buildup also makes it difficult to properly draft and vent the smoke out. If the obstruction is from creosote, you’re at risk of a fire, as well, since it’s extremely flammable. Be sure to contact a chimney sweep to take care of this quickly.

Flue Problems

When a chimney sweep in Alpharetta, GA, cleans your chimney, you’ll also be able to take advantage of a professional inspection. This inspection will look for problems with the flue, like leaks or flue openings that are too small. If it’s too narrow for a larger fireplace, the chimney won’t be able to handle the smoke, and you’ll find it backing up into the home. If this is the case, you’ll need to have structural modifications, or you may even need a new chimney. Cracks in the flue liner can also negatively impact the venting.

Wrong Chimney Size

Along with the chimney being too narrow to handle the venting demands, some may be too short for the demand. If you’ve explored all the other possible causes of chimney problems and are consistently having issues with smoke with a new fireplace or in a new home, it could be that the chimney is too short. It should be at last ten feet tall and extend a couple of feet beyond the roof. Contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor to get your problem diagnosed today.