It’s that time of the year. Most people have stopped using our fireplaces in favor of the air conditioning unit. Then, as the summer begins, they will start to smell a very unpleasant odor emanating from the fireplace. What they may not know is that the smell is often caused by creosote that has built up over the course of the winter. These are some steps to take to eliminate that terrible smell.

First of all, the best method is to have a professional chimney sweep inspect your chimney. They will be able to identify the exact problem, and recommend a fix. Most often, the solution is to have your chimney thoroughly swept. This removes the actual cause of the smell, creosote.

For those that don’t know, creosote is a sticky buildup that accumulates in wood burning stoves and fireplaces. You can make sure there is less of it by choosing the correct type of wood. Burning resinous wood, such as conifers with needles, produces thicker smoke, which leads to more buildup. Hardwoods, like oak, hickory, maple and ash, burn much more cleanly, and are a good choice for winter use. Also, be sure the wood is thoroughly seasoned and has dried out. Wet wood produces thicker smoke as well, leading to a higher buildup of creosote.

While you are waiting for your appointment with the sweep, there are some tricks you can use to mask the odor. For instance, add some cat litter to your fireplace. It has been known to cover the odor caused by creosote. Also, try increasing the ventilation in the area of the house where your chimney is located. Regardless, be sure to have regular maintenance performed on your chimney. It will keep your home, family and nostrils safe from the dangers of creosote buildup.

Our Portland Service Area

Located right here in Portland, Oregon, our chimney sweep technicians provide the best in chimney cleaning, fireplace installation and dryer vent care in the Greater Portland-Metro area. From North Portland down to Tualatin and Oregon City in the south, from Pleasant Valley in the east to Beaverton and Sherwood in the west – when it comes to your chimney, fireplace and vents, we hope you’ll call American Chimney & Masonry!

Ready To Make An Appointment?

To schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians, please call 503-644-0393 or fill out our online scheduling form. With over 19,000 satisfied customers since 1989, we are ready for more! We look forward to visiting with you soon about your fireplace and chimney sweep needs.