While many love to sit around a burning flame in the fireplace, no one wants to be in the same room if that fireplace is smoking. A common problem, smoking fireplaces can be caused by several different things. The majority of these causes are related to your chimney. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians at American Chimney & Masonry are familiar with the issues behind a smoking fireplace and can quickly diagnose and repair the problem so that you can once again enjoy your fireplace without being suffocated by smoke. We would like to share with you the most common causes of a smoking fireplace. Although you should call us to fix most of these issues, you can fix a few very easily.
Flue and Damper Causes
● A closed damper — Your damper is the part of your chimney that controls the amount of air let in or out. Whenever you light a fire, your damper should be open. However, sometimes people forget to open the damper, and smoke is unable to escape out the chimney. Instead, it comes into your home. This is one of the most simple fixes; all you have to do is open your damper.
●A flue blockage — Your flue is the interior of your chimney, and it can become clogged with debris such as leaves and animal nests. Smoke is unable to escape and must exit through the fireplace. You will need to call American Chimney & Masonry to clean your chimney to clear out the smoke and reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
● A cold flue — If your flue is too cold, smoke may immediately pour into the room, according to eHow. This is easily solved by warming up your flue with a small newspaper fire before adding the main fuel source.
● Too much wind — Although fire needs oxygen to burn, but too much air coming down the chimney because of wind drafts can push smoke back into your house. If you do not have a chimney cap, American Chimney & Masonry can install one to reduce the effects of wind.
● Indoor air pressure— Your chimney draws air out from your room to pull smoke out, but if there is no air to replace that drawn air, a low pressure area is created that pulls smoke out of the chimney and into your home. All you have to do to solve this is crack a window near the fireplace to provide replacement air.
● Chimney length — If your chimney is too short, it cannot effectively draw smoke away from the fireplace. American Chimney & Masonry can add height to your chimney to solve this issue.
● A small flue — If your flue is too small, smoke may not have enough room to escape. We can remove the old flue and install a new one to fix the proportions of the firebox to the flue.
Are you having problems with a smoking fireplace? Contact American Chimney & Masonry to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified technicians.