Why Your Fireplace Is Smoking Up the House

February 24, 2018

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The professionals at Atlanta Chimney Doctor know that everyone enjoys a roaring fire. Maybe you like to catch up on your reading by the fireside. Many couples enjoy a romantic dinner next to the fireplace. Of course, most homeowners appreciate it as a useful treat on cold nights, but no one wants to deal with smoke stains or the odor that a smoky chimney leaves behind. A well-maintained fireplace shouldn’t need more than an occasional cleaning, and can last for many years. Unfortunately, there are some common problems that can get in the way of making the most out of your fireplace.

Why is your fireplace smoking up the house? There are several possibilities, but most of them are quite easy to fix.

Damper and Creosote

Everyone knows that you need to leave your damper open. Always ensure that it’s opened completely when you’re starting a fire so that the maximum air flow is available. Every fire needs air for combustion, and the air draw is important to keep the smoke flowing up and out. Unfortunately, there can be a few issues with this.

Your flue and fireplace need to have the right proportions. The area of your fireplace should never be more than ten times the area of your flue. You can measure them to make sure. If your fireplace area is a bit too large, you can have a smoke guard installed. This will often correct the problem.

If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned in some time, the issue could simply be a buildup of too much creosote. You’ve seen this as the brown stains that eventually develop on your bricks. A chimney sweep can help with removing the creosote, and it should alleviate the problem. If you don’t have any space issues and your chimney is clean, you’re going to have to consider other possibilities.

Air Draw

Do you only have smoke problems on windy days? If so, you can have a chimney cap installed. Some chimney caps are specially designed to create a vacuum with the help of the wind. The harder the wind blows, the stronger the vacuum. If your fireplace only seems to smoke you out of your house when the wind is blowing, this could be a great fix.

If the problem is constant, you might consider a chimney fan instead. It produces increased airflow at the top of the chimney to draw the air and smoke up and out of the fireplace. This is practically guaranteed to cure a smoky fireplace.

Whether it’s creosote buildup or a lack of air draw, every smoky fireplace has a solution. Be sure to speak with professionals to help diagnose your problem and get your fireplace back into working order.

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