Air Quality Issues


Sure, you might enjoy the smell of a wood fire on a crisp fall evening—but that’s not a smell you should be experiencing inside your home from your fireplace. In fact, smelling smoke means not only that your chimney isn’t doing its job, but also that the air inside your home is being polluted and is hazardous to your health. We all spend a lot of time in our homes, and want to do what we can to reduce the amount of pollutants in the air. Let’s take a look at how we can eliminate your chimney from contributing to bad air.

If draft isn't happening properly, some air that should go up the chimney is coming into your home. This can cause breathing difficulties.

If draft isn’t happening properly, some air that should go up the chimney is coming into your home. This can cause breathing difficulties.

Smoke pollution, also called spillage, is when air gets pulled down through the chimney, instead of allowing the smoke to exit up. This pushes the smoke into the home. Even in small amounts, this can be dangerous. Elderly or children are especially susceptible to this kind of pollution—it can cause respiratory and cardiovascular issues, lung cancer, and can damage lung tissue.

There are a number of things that can cause spillage. An average fire consumes all the air that can fit into a 1200 square-foot space three times within 24 hours of operation. If your home isn’t properly ventilated, that fire is going to get the air from somewhere. There can also be issues with your flue size or the position of the fire grate. A smoke guards or exhaust fan is often a practical and effective solution to this problem.

Mold spores are another, more invisible foe, and your chimneys can often be the culprit. If there is moisture trapped inside the chimney it’s the perfect place for mold to grow—dark, damp and warm. It’s also responsible for a number of health problems, like sinus and respiratory problems, coughing, headaches, and eye and throat irritation. Having a chimney cap installed and waterproofing your chimney will rid it of moisture and help keep your air cleaner.

As you can see, keeping up with the regular maintenance of your chimney is a vital part of being a homeowner. Be sure to schedule an annual inspection and cleaning, so your chimney sweep can keep you one step ahead.