Nothing ruins a relaxing evening by a cozy fire more quickly than a suffocating draft of smoke blowing into the house. Not only is this situation potentially dangerous to your physical health, but it will also likely harm your clothing, upholstery, carpets, and walls. Instead of enjoying a peaceful night, you now face the annoyance of removing smoke stains and stench from your home. Fortunately, we can explain the common causes of this issue so that you can easily avoid it. A chimney sweep can inspect your fireplace area and remedy any potential problems.
A Soiled Chimney
Creosote buildup is a natural product of repeated fires, but it also presents a serious fire hazard. In addition, it causes an interruption in the normal flow of gasses, which results in smoke ebbing back into your home. We recommend that you have a chimney sweep remove the residue from the inner surface yearly, or more frequently if deemed necessary. An added benefit of this process is that it allows a professional to check for any damage to the flue, which is another frequent source of dangerous fires and smoke issues.
A damper or chimney cap can become stuck in an improper position, restricting proper gas flow. Debris may also become lodged in these places, preventing normal exchange. A professional sweep can adjust and clean both parts as needed, while inspecting the rest of the inner parts to check for clogs.
Good Home Construction
Ironically, a sturdy and well-insulated house prevents the very flow of gasses necessary for proper smoke ventilation. If opening a nearby window seems to fix your draft problem, your home is probably not allowing enough air exchange. Simply leaving the window slightly open may solve the problem. If this remedy is not desirable, a professional mason can probably install an air vent in your fireplace.
Another home upgrade that may disrupt the proper current is the forced ventilation system. Your fireplace may function best when no interior fans are being used. This is most true when the air return is in the same room as the fireplace.
Again, a seemingly ideal situation is not always ideal for the use of a fireplace. When it is not particularly cold outside, the difference in temperature between the inside and the outside air will not be very pronounced. This situation can prevent the chimney from drawing smoke outside as well as it will on a very chilly day. If this problem occurs repeatedly, you may want to consider waiting until the outdoor temperature drops just a little before you light a fire.