As temperatures get more frigid, homeowners everywhere are doing their best to prep for winter. One thing that requires a lot of extra attention this time of year is the fireplace. Inspections get scheduled, repairs are addressed, and any excess dirt or debris is removed with the help of a professional.
If you have crossed everything off your fireplace to-do list, only to face smoking issues when you go to light a fire, you are likely feeling some frustration. Check out some of these explanations as to why your chimney may be smoking. Soot build-up is one of the more common causes. Yet, if you have already had a professional sweeping, there are still many things that may be triggering issues.
An Open Damper
Often times, homeowners will simply forget to open their damper. This is an easy fix. Making sure you always open the damper before lighting your fires is a key component in keeping smoke out of your home. Once the fire gets going, you can shut it partially and adjust it as needed throughout your burning session.
If your damper will not open all the way, then you may need some professional insight. Chimney experts can inspect your fireplace to see what the issue may be. More often than not, a thorough sweeping will do the trick. Soot and other debris can build up behind the device, causing it to function inefficiently.
Using unseasoned fuel will cause more smoke to occur. Fresh cut wood contains more water, meaning more energy is spent to dry it out before your fire can thrive. Always use seasoned wood that has a low moisture content. Look for shorter logs that are dark and split on the ends. They will also make a clear, clunking noise when smacked together.
Poor Air Circulation
In order to run your fireplace as efficiently as possible, there needs to be enough air circulating through it. If more air is going out than coming in (or vice versa), smoking issues will occur. Opening a window may help get things moving, but you will want to find a more permanent solution as soon as possible. The more harmful toxins that enter your home, the higher risk you face of health issues or carbon monoxide poisoning.
There are also a wide variety of structural issues that could be making your chimney smoke. Chimney height, firebox dimensions, and the size of the fireplace opening are just a few of the many things that could be causing problems. Consult our CSIA certified chimney technician to discuss options for fireplace reconstruction.
The professionals at Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County are here to help with any and all of your chimney and fireplace needs. For any more questions, please do not hesitate to call right away. You won’t regret choosing us!