Chimney & Fireplace Smoke Issues

Why Is My Fireplace Smoking Up The House?

Windy Chimney Services in the Chicagoland area can help you with your chimney and fireplace smoke issues. If you are experiencing smoke backing up into your home, it can become an unwanted issue to any wood-burning household.

Early Indicator Of Bigger Issues

If you are experiencing smoke backing up into your home, this could be an early indicator of a more severe problem. Poor fireplace airflow or drafting can be caused by several factors you should be aware of.

Common Issues From Smoke Issues

Once smoke enters your home, you should have a chimney inspection to locate any hidden damage.

Exterior Or Interior Chimney Damage

The chimney’s exterior could become damaged due to weather, especially in the winter. When you have damage to your chimney, cold, dense air will fight the heat from your fireplace, causing it to return to your home.

Modern Airtight Homes

New homes use upgraded windows, doors, insulation, and roofs to create a more energy-efficient home, which could cause issues for your fireplace. It takes a lot of oxygen to keep a fire going and can make a draft as the fire pulls air from inside the home to fuel itself.

Gaps In Your Chimney Liner

Most chimneys in the Chicago area have clay tile liners that come in various sizes and shapes. These 2ft tiles are 3/4 of an inch thick and held in place with mortar sealing any gaps and stacked on top of each other.

Over time regular fireplace use and moisture caused by rain or snow can cause the natural deterioration of the mortar joints creating gaps and allowing air and smoke to seep through, ultimately returning to your home. It is common for customers to burn upstairs only to find that their basement has been filled with smoke.

Unmaintained Fireplace

A filthy and unmaintained fireplace and chimney can cause a backup in your living room. Although this is a rare occurrence, build-up shrinks the diameter of your chimney flue, restricting your airflow. When fireplaces and chimneys are constructed, they are built to a particular specification, and when that is disturbed, they can become nonfunctional.

Using Unseasoned Wood

Using uncured, green, or unseasoned wood can be a factor. Wood needs to be seasoned for around 6 months. If it is not, there may be a large moisture content in it, which will produce more smoke. This will also lead to more creosote coating your fireplace and chimney liner.

Obstruction To Your Chimney

Your chimney height and any nearby obstructions, such as trees, can block airflow and proper ventilation. Chimney codes require a minimum height of 3 feet above the roof line and 2 feet taller than anything within 10 feet of it.

Not Opening Chimney Dampers

As silly and simple as it may seem, sometimes we just forget to open the damper. However, a faulty damper could appear open but closes on its own or doesn’t open wide enough, effectively blocking or restricting your fire’s airflow.

Mechanical Fan Issues

Commonly found in bathrooms, range hoods, and dryer vents, they can adversely affect the functionality of your chimney. If too much air is being forced out of your home, it creates a negative airflow and can impact ventilation during the use of your fireplace.

Air Return Vents

These vents suck air back into your home and do it more frequently during the winter. If a vent near your fireplace brings too much air into the room, it can cause it to behave abnormally during use.

Solving Your Smoke Issues In Chicagoland

If you are experiencing any smoke issues in your Chicagoland home, our experts can quickly diagnose and offer cost-effective repair solutions. Contact Windy Chimney Services, and we can perform a negative pressure test to identify exactly what is causing your performance issues.

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