Sitting in front of your fireplace is meant to be comfortable and relaxing. It’s not meant leave you choking on smoke. Do you have a smoky fireplace? Are soot and ash stains on your furniture or décor? Perhaps there are odors that linger for hours or days after the fire? If any of these things prevent you from using and enjoying your fireplace, a smoking issue may be the culprit.
As a number of different factors can cause smoking problems, there is no “quick fix.” Instead, trust a CSIA certified chimney sweep to inspect your fireplace and chimney system. They will identify the underlying cause.
The four of the most common causes of fireplace smoking and draft issues:
- Flue blockage.
A flue blockage occurs when debris, soot, and ash build up in the flue. Building up to the point where air flow is constricted. This prevents smoke from safely drafting up and out of the chimney. In addition, it can also cause dangerous gasses to back up inside your home. Flue blockages are commonly caused by debris such as leaves falling into the chimney. Also, trapped animals and their nesting materials. A functioning chimney cap and chimney sweep can remove and prevent future flue blockages from occurring.
- Improperly sized flue.
If the flue is too large or too small for your fireplace, smoke and gas will not be able to draft properly. An improperly sized flue can occur if a new fireplace insert is installed into an existing hearth. Additionally, if the fuel source of the fireplace is changed. If the flue is too small, smoke can not be drawn up the chimney quickly enough. This causes it to linger in your home. Likewise, a flue that is too large pulls down too much outside air. Thus, causing smoke to blow back into your home. Relining the chimney is typically the most effective way to correct an improperly sized flue.
- Negative air pressure.
The height of your home, your chimney, nearby buildings, and surrounding trees can all effect the air pressure around your chimney. Standard building codes require chimneys to be at least two feet taller than any other structure within a 10 foot radius.
- Using the wrong firewood.
Burning green or freshly cut firewood can negatively impact the quality of your fire and produce more smoke. Likewise, even seasoned soft woods can produce large amounts of smoke. For a fire that produces less smoke and burns hotter, opt for seasoned hard woods such as ash, birch, or oak.
Fix your smoking fireplace!
A smoking fireplace doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your fireplace. Instead, call the experts at Jack Pixley Sweeps today for more information on how we can identify and repair the cause of your fireplace smoking issues.