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.
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.