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How to avoid a stinky chimney

As winter’s chill gives way to warm spring days, we tend to forget about our fireplaces and chimneys. But warmer days, especially mixed with spring’s rains or summer’s humidity, can bring on an unpleasant problem: A stinky chimney that can draft odors into your home. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent a smelly chimney.

How to avoid a stinky chimney - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care CoSchedule a spring chimney cleaning.

While most people schedule their annual chimney sweepings for the fall, a spring chimney sweeping can be one of the most effective ways to prevent a stinky chimney. Creosote, the primary target of chimney sweepings, can emit a foul, burnt-asphalt odor on hot and humid days, especially if any moisture has leaked into the chimney and come into contact with the creosote. Other common causes of bad chimney odors include animal nests, trapped or dead animals, and rotting leaves or organic debris. A spring chimney cleaning removes the root cause of chimney odors before they can be exacerbated by summer’s hot temperatures.

A spring chimney sweeping brings other advantages. It is easier to schedule appointments during the spring, when sweeps’ schedules are less busy; a spring inspection gives you time to schedule any needed repairs before you are ready to light your first fall fire; and a spring cleaning removes acidic creosote, soot and ash from your fireplace and chimney before it can do harm.

Install a top-sealing damper.

You are probably familiar with your chimney’s damper; you open it each time a you light a fire to allow smoke to exit the firebox, and you close it when the fireplace isn’t in use to block drafts. You might not be familiar with a superior damper option, the top-sealing damper. As the name implies, top-sealing dampers are installed at your chimney’s crown, and form a perfect seal around your chimney top when the damper is closed. Top-sealing dampers prevent animals, debris and moisture from entering your chimney, and when those odor-causing materials can’t get in, you drastically cut your risk of dealing with a stinky chimney each summer.

Consider a chimney exhaust fan.

Another reason unpleasant smells could be entering your home through your chimney is a faulty draft. Typically, warm air flows up your chimney and out of your house. However, negative pressure can draw air downward through the chimney and into the home, bringing with it any unpleasant smells that might otherwise stay contained within the chimney. Improper drafting can be caused by a variety of factors, but it can be solved with a chimney exhaust fan. Chimney exhaust fans are motorized fans installed atop the chimney to help pull air upward and out of the chimney. They can be used to keep smoke from flowing backward into your home, or they can be used as a vent to pull unpleasant smells, whether from your chimney or from your home, out of your home’s living spaces.

Call The Chimney Care Co!

If spring’s warmer temperatures are bringing unpleasant odors from your chimney into your home, or if you’ve dealt with a stinky chimney in the past, call The Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today. We can help prevent the frustration and embarrassment of a stinky chimney!

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

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