It is almost summer – time to switch from the warm, cozy fireplace to full-blast, cool air conditioning. But not so fast! Did you remember to include the chimney in your spring cleaning? Because if you didn’t then you are going to have a serious problem: a chimney stinking up your home.
What’s that smell?
One of the more obvious reasons for a stinky chimney is the presence of uninvited little critters that want to make a home of your chimney. They want to make their “home” as comfortable as possible so they gather up different materials to place in their newfound space. Then they also have to use the bathroom, right? And sadly, once in a while, they also make your chimney their final resting place. That’s when the smell is the most intense.
Aside from these critters, water is also a familiar foe of the chimney. Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean there’s absolutely no water in the atmosphere. In fact, summer humidity is one of the main culprits behind a stinky chimney. If you haven’t had a chance to have your chimney swept/cleaned after months of use, then all that soot and black gunk called creosote will mix and mash up with the help of the moisture, creating new and unique odors you didn’t think could come from a chimney. If the stink doesn’t convince you to call a professional for help, consider this: creosote is highly flammable. You don’t want to take your chances of having just a single spark ignite a chimney fire.
But the bottom line is that if air is coming down your chimney instead of up, then the problem lies in the air pressure inside your home. Do you notice the smell getting worse when you turn on the air conditioning unit or the exhaust fans? That’s because the air from outside is coming in through the chimney to make up for the air being sucked through the other vents.
A common home remedy for a stinky fireplace and chimney is the use of baking soda cleaner. Although that is not a permanent solution, of course. The more sensible thing to do is to call Clean Sweep Anne Arundel County. Our experts will recommend installing a tight sealing, top-mounted damper to reduce the air coming down the chimney. Plus, they will be able to maintain your chimney with the regular chimney inspection done annually as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).