Fireplace smells and chimney odor problems may be attributed to a variety of different things.  Fireplace smells come from creosote deposits—a natural byproduct of burning wood—inside your chimney.  The odors are usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high, on rainy days, and/or when your air conditioner is running.  Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps can help minimize your fireplace and chimney odors!

Summer is a time when we get a lot of calls about smelly fireplaces. Let us help you get rid of the stink.

Summer is a time when we get a lot of calls about smelly fireplaces. Let us help you get rid of the stink.

The Culprit is Tucked Away Below the Surface

Creosote absorbs into the porous masonry construction inside your chimney, embedding the fireplace smell deep beyond the masonry’s surface.  A chimney sweep will remove the surface buildup of creosote to limit the possibility of a chimney fire; however, the odors that have absorbed into the masonry itself will remain.  So how can you keep the smell out of your house?  The answer to this question should come as no surprise.

Negative Pressure Problems

The real problem is air coming down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems.  Normally, as long as the draft is working correctly and there is no negative airflow in the home, the smells should remain in the chimney.  In the event that negative airflow becomes a problem, the air brings the inner fireplace smells and chimney odors right along with it as it comes down your chimney.  It is likely that your chimney is just the victim of a negative pressure problem.  A quick solution to the negative air pressure is to crack a window at all times to let the pressure change through the window rather than the chimney.

Dampers to the Rescue

For a more permanent approach to keeping the smell that’s exuding from your fireplace and chimney’s masonry in the chimney and away from your nose, you need to limit the amount of air that’s able to come down your chimney in the first place.  Closing your throat damper is a good start, however, the metal-on-metal closure is far from airtight.  A top-sealing damper can help to minimize the airflow and accompanying fireplace smells from coming down your chimney.  In addition to limiting the airflow problems, the top-sealing damper will keep rainwater and moisture out as well.

There’s never a bad time to get a chimney inspection.  The professionals at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep are available all year round to inspect and clean your chimney.  Don’t allow these smells to become a problem for you.  As soon as you first notice unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace, nip it in the bud.  Our offices are opened from 7am to 5pm on weekdays, and we have a 24-hour live messaging system in place—no matter what day or time, we have a technician on-call to help you with your needs.  Give us a call today!