Causes of a Smoky Fireplace

And how to stop it.

Check out the most common cause of a smokey fireplace and what you can do to fix it. 

Why is My Fireplace Smoky?

Just as you are about to enjoy the evening with a nice warm fire and you suddenly smell smoke. In no time at all, your whole living room is filled with smoke and you feel like suffocating. You wonder where the smoke is coming from.  Lo and behold, you see the root cause – it’s your fireplace.

Possible causes of a smoky fireplace & preventative measures or even repairs needed to fix it:

The Wood Used

There are certain types of wood that produce more smoke especially when they are wet or are not seasoned properly. This is the reason why the drying process is vital so that wood can burn efficiently in your fireplace. Make sure you check the wood you want to burn.

Improper Chimney Draft

Another reason why smoke stays inside instead of going out is because of improper chimney draft. This can be caused by a number of things such as obstructions, a defective chimney damper, or even sudden shifts in temperature. It is vital to keep the air flowing the way it should. Sometimes, a back draft happens and causes smoke to surge into the house instead of exiting the chimney. Two possible causes of improper chimney draft is:

1.       Chimney Obstructions – When the chimney flue is obstructed, it’s difficult for the air to pass through and can lead to draft problems. Common obstructions include creosote build-up, animals, birds, nests, debris, and other objects that could get stuck and create a blockage in the flue.

2.       Defective Chimney Damper – The chimney damper is in charge of controlling the airflow from the outside down to the fireplace. If it is not working well, or if it is always closed then it traps the smoke and won’t have anywhere else to go but back into the fireplace.

Chimney Maintenance

Perhaps the most common root cause for a smoky fireplace is the lack of proper chimney maintenance. This entails annual chimney inspections to identify potential problems that could arise. Through proper assessment and diagnosis, the problem can immediately be solved and it can prevent bigger damages from occurring. Another thing to consider is regular chimney sweeping. You have to make sure your chimney is clean and free of any kind of obstruction. This will make your chimney last longer, not to mention save a lot of time, effort, and money on your part.

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109