What to do about your smoking chimney

When you light a fire in your fireplace, you know the smoke is supposed to flow up and out of your chimney. One of the most common chimney problems is the failure of the chimney to draft properly, causing smoke to flow backward into the home. A smoking chimney can seem like a major problem, but there are many potential causes.

What to do about your smoking chimney - Cincinnati OH - Chimney Care Co

Cold chimney

If you notice your chimney smoking infrequently, and only in cold weather, the cold air could be to blame. Cold temperatures outside can cause cold, dense air to fill the chimney, particularly if the chimney is located on an exterior wall. When a fire is lit, the cold air can prevent smoke from rising out of the chimney. Fortunately, this problem can be fixed easily by preheating your chimney.

Faulty damper

You’re probably familiar with your damper’s operation; you open it each time you light a fire and close it when your fireplace isn’t in use to block any cold air from entering your home. Dampers are made from metal components that can rust or warp over time, hindering their operation. A damper that isn’t opening fully can prevent smoke from rising out of the chimney.

Down drafts

If you notice your chimney smoking on windy days, a down draft could be to blame. When wind strikes your chimney, it can force the air downward and force smoke back into your home. The good news is that this can be an easy fix: Often a sturdier chimney cap can block strong winds from making their way down your chimney.

Blocked chimney

If your chimney is obstructed, smoke won’t be able to exit your home. Chimneys can be blocked by bird or animal nests, or by an accumulation of leaves, twigs or other debris. If your chimney is overdue for a cleaning, a buildup of creosote can block the flue and force smoke back into your home.

Lack of oxygen

If your fire isn’t getting enough fuel to burn hot and fast, it won’t be able to direct smoke up the chimney. When a fire burns, it pulls in oxygen from the room, then the hot air and smoke are drawn up the chimney. If your fire isn’t able to pull enough air from your home to burn efficiently, the smoke won’t rise up the chimney quickly enough and will enter your home. Other appliances operating near the fireplace, like furnaces, stove hoods or bathroom fans, can inhibit the flow of oxygen to your fireplace. You also can open a window to help supply more cold air to your fireplace.

Improper chimney construction

Occasionally, improper chimney construction is to blame for a smoking chimney. If a chimney is too short or too small, too wide or too narrow, smoke won’t draft properly. Too many angles in a chimney can interfere with smoke’s path up and out of a chimney.

The only way to know for sure what is causing your chimney to smoke is to call a professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and evaluate your chimney’s draft. If you need to address a smoky chimney, call the experts at The Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment today!

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

Visit Our Showroom!

Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140