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Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires which can cause severe damage. Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to contain fires safely. The chimneys job is to expel the byproducts (water vapor, smoke, gases, etc.) that fire produces. The residue that these byproducts create that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote. If creosote builds up significantly, and the internal flue temperature is high enough, the result could be a chimney fire.
There are many potential causes of a smoking fireplace. If your chimney persistently smokes, there could be many things affecting the draft. First, make sure that the damper is fully open. If the damper is fully open, then make sure that nothing is blocking your chimney flue.
Humid summer days and rainy days adding moisture will produce undesirable odors from a dirty chimney. Having your chimney cleaned will dispose of any decomposing materials and will also clean the creosote out of the chimney. If the chimney cleaning and inspection don’t get rid of the odor, the next course of action would be to seal the chimney from water sitting in the chamber and causing a musty smell. Adding a chimney cap to your chimney will keep water, debris, and animals out of your chimney. Below is a list of what your chimney might smell like with what is most likely causing that smell.
Animals entering your chimney and not being able to escape
Fallen leaves combining with damp soot
Water sitting in your smoke chamber
Most likely due to creosote buildup
There is nothing pleasant about unwanted smoke seeping into your home through your fireplace. Some factors can cause smoke that escapes through the fireplace opening. If you are experiencing this, your chimney may need to be cleaned. Creosote build up in the chimney can reduce the flow of exhaust gases which can cause fireplace smoke. A shattered flue can also cause drafting problems. Our technicians can inspect your chimney for damage and clean out the vent. Another cause could be due to how well your home is insulated. An airtight house may not be able to supply enough outside air to the fire which results in negative pressure inside the house.