After a long winter of wood-burning you don’t want to worry about your fireplace and chimney. You want to enjoy your summer, and avoid dealing with a stinky chimney.
Seasons and Your Chimney
During the burning season your chimney is working to heat the house. As organic material is burned, a byproduct is left in the chimney flue called creosote. Creosote builds up onto the lining of the chimney, is heated and cooled, and becomes a glazed substance known as level 3, or glazed creosote. Glazed creosote is highly flammable and can cause blockage, slowing the rise of hot vapors, which raises the risk of ignition and flue fire.
If this creosote isn’t removed after burning season, the risk of fire is no longer present during the summer. However, creosote is a very dense material which begins to have a foul odor if moisture reaches it. During the summer months, when humidity is high, homeowners may notice an odor coming from the chimney. This odor is most likely creosote buildup in the chimney.
Fall begins burning season once again, and no chimney should be used without a proper cleaning and inspection.
Recommended Chimney Sweeps and Inspections
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends regular chimney sweeps, and annual chimney inspections. To ensure the safety of your family and property, you should hire a CSIA certified chimney sweep for your cleaning and inspection. It’s at this appointment that all creosote will be removed and the chimney is put into working condition for another burning season. If you decide to schedule a chimney sweep during the summer, it will help with the chimney odor as well.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends some additional steps homeowners can take to decrease the odors from the chimney.
Install a Damper
A professional chimney sweep should be able to fit and install a damper to your chimney system to prevent the stinky air from falling into the fireplace or appliance.
Correct the Draft Problem
If air is being pulled down the chimney there may be a draft problem in the home. Another appliance may pull air from the chimney, or the house may be too tight, and need a vent elsewhere in the house. Try and crack a window in a different part of the house. If a draft is causing your stinky chimney, a damper could also correct the problem.
Some homeowners have had luck with using household products to prevent a stinky chimney. Placing baking soda inside the appliance or fireplace is one common method used. Another method is to use kitty litter to collect the odors.
The best way to correct and prevent a stinky chimney is to keep up with the regular cleaning and maintenance of your chimney. And, if the smell persists, call a professional! At Billy Sweet we are quick to assess a problem. Our technicians are familiar with the area’s climate and seasons, and we know how to stop odors, even caused by natural humidity.
Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweeps today and say goodbye to your stinky chimney this summer.