You’re ready for a cozy night in, but your fireplace is smoking up the house. At Windy Chimney Services, we want to help you identify some common issues that can cause smoke to backdraft into a smelly mess instead of moving up and out of your chimney like it should.
- Damp Firewood
- Dirty Chimney
- Negative Air Pressure
- A Faulty Damper
- Chimney Cap Problems
Check Your Fireplace Fuel Source
For wood-burning fireplaces, it’s important to check the state of your fuel source. Damp firewood often won’t burn properly. Instead of a warm glow, you can get a thick cloud of smoke. A good, well-seasoned hardwood is ideal. Make sure it isn’t too old or dry. Wood that is ancient and brittle may burn too fast and also create a lot of smoke.
Is It Time For A Chimney Sweep?
A dirty chimney may not allow woodsmoke to exit the way it should. Yearly maintenance, including a fireplace and chimney sweep, is a must to keep things clean and clear. Creosote, a by-product of wood-burning fires, can build-up and narrow the inside of your chimney.
The Deal With Negative Air Pressure
Science also plays a big part in using your fireplace. Air needs to flow from your house through the chimney to make sure the smoke moves out with it. Negative air pressure will slow this process and may cause smoke to back up into your home.
Reasons for airflow issues can be that your house is well insulated, exhaust fans are running in the kitchen or bathroom, or you have a major ventilation blockage somewhere. Opening a window a little bit and turning off the exhaust fans may fix the problem.
If this doesn’t work, having a fireplace maintenance company stop by is your best bet.
An old or faulty damper can also restrict airflow and cause smoke to back up into your home. Many times a combination of damper issues along with a dirty chimney may be the cause of your fireplace problems.
Get On Top Of It
A chimney cap keeps pests and debris out of your flue and keeps ashes and embers from coming out. A missing or damaged cap can be a recipe for disaster by allowing animals to crawl in, birds to build nests, and other assorted junk to build up and restrict your fireplace airflow.
Get That Smoky Fireplace Fixed
You don’t have to waste time and money trying to diagnose your own smoky fireplace. If you are in the Chicagoland area, contact Windy Chimney Services today to schedule an inspection. We’ll work to get your system up and running smoothly and safely once again.