You have been wanting to use your fireplace this winter! However, every time you try to light a fire, the entire room fills with smoke. American Chimney & Masonry knows how frustrating this can be. Not worry though, because it is a very common problem. Customers ask us all the time how to keep this situation from happening. Sometimes, the solution is simple. Other times, it takes a bit of troubleshooting to solve this smoky issue. Here are some of the reasons why your fireplace could be blowing smoke back into your home, instead of up into the chimney.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the most common reason for a smoky fireplace is forgetting to open the damper completely. You have probably closed your damper to keep cold air out. However, for safety reasons, always make sure your damper is fully opened before you light a fire in your fireplace. Do you have a traditional throat damper? You may have to crouch down and look up into the fireplace with a flashlight. This allows you to see if the damper is open or closed. Is this a problem for you? We can talk to you about a top-mounted damper that is easier to open and close.
You may have negative air pressure.
When you weatherize your house, you seal up windows and doors to keep drafts out to save money on utilities. While this does help you save money, it can hurt your chimney draft by creating negative air pressure. Your chimney does not have the additional air it needs to pull out smoke and other byproducts from combustion because of the weatherization. Give your chimney the air it needs! Crack open a window in the same room as your fireplace to help the draft work properly.
You need to have your chimney professionally swept.
Another thing that could be causing your fireplace to blow smoke back into the room is a chimney blockage. Debris like leaves, sticks, creosote, broken bricks, and other things could be blocking the exit of the smoke. In other words, it has no other place to go than back into your home. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps from American Chimney & Masonry can remove the blockage and sweep your chimney so that it works safely and efficiently.
American Chimney & Masonry is here to help you with your smoky fireplace. Contact us to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection today!