Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Eliminating Smoky Smells

There are countless advantages to owning a wood-burning fireplace. It offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, while creating a classic, timeless look for your home. On top of that, the maintenance involved can often be a fun hobby for those who have the time to dedicate to it. It helps you stay active and keeps your brain focused and stimulated, thus improving overall health.

Yet, all of those benefits start to fade when you smell that persistent smoky odor that tends to occur in more humid or rainy weather. Educating yourself on the cause of this odor and studying up on how to eliminate it will not only leave your home smelling great again, but will offer you peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your fireplace to the fullest.Eliminating Smoky Smells - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney Sweep

What Causes These Smells?

The outside air pressure causes a downdraft, which is why this smell occurs. The warm air from the house rises out of the chimney, then the cool air outside replaces it. As the air works its way through the chimney and into your home, it passes by all of the dirt and creosote in your fireplace and invites their fumes along with it.

Since the downdraft causes these issues, you may find yourself in a bit of trouble when you go to light a fire. Rather than smoke escaping up the chimney, the cold air outside will swoop down and push all of that smoke into your home. Now you are not just dealing with the smell, but the actual smoke itself. This can cause damage to your walls and is very hard to get out of furniture and other belongings.

What To Do

There are things you can do to eliminate this problem from your life, allowing you the ability to relax and enjoy your fireplace. Follow some of these guidelines:

  • Turn Off Fans: If you normally run fans or other appliances that push air around the house, turning these off will help to eliminate foul odors from the chimney. These devices help to push the air out, which then means the air from outside will come in to take its place.
  • Check Chimney Height: Make sure that your chimney height is meeting the regulations set in place for your area of residence. Adding some length to your chimney can help reduce the smell of odors, as it prevents the outside air from entering in as frequently. A professional will be happy to check up on this for you, as well as get you set up for adding that additional chimney height.
  • Adjust The Damper: By ensuring that the damper is fully shut and locked down tightly, you can help reduce the air flow entering from the outside. The worse the weather is, the stronger downdraft you will get, so any little bit helps. When it is really blowing, close the damper for added protection from smoky smells.
  • Add Some Heat: Before starting any fire, heat up your chimney area with something smaller. Hold a candle or some lit, rolled newspapers in your fireplace to start getting those drafts reversed. Soon, you will be able to light a fire without having to deal with smoke entering your home.

Stinky Fireplace Odor Solutions

The heat and humidity of the summer can create some stinky odors in your chimney that may affect your living space through the fireplace. Every summer Pozzi Chimney Sweep gets calls from customers asking for help dealing with unpleasantly smelling fireplaces. A few different things can be behind these strong smells, and our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps have the experience to find the source of the smelly fireplace odor. We can take care of your stinky fireplace problem to make your house smell as great as it should. We would like to share with you a couple of the culprits behind smelly chimneys.

Stinky Fireplace Odor Solutions - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney SweepCREOSOTE

The main cause of stinky fireplace odors in the summer, creosote is a natural compound that is formed during the condensation process of a burning wood. The toxic byproducts of combustion turn into this residue as they exit the cooler walls of the upper chimney. This residue sticks to the inner walls of your chimney and can accumulate into large deposits. Not only is creosote the main cause of smelly chimneys because of its strong, acrid scent, but, according to the CSIA, creosote is also the main cause of chimney fires because it is highly flammable. For these reasons, removing creosote is an important task in keeping your home safe from a chimney fire and in keeping your home from smelling badly. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps are experts at getting rid of accumulated creosote deposits when they clean your chimney during a professional chimney sweep. If you have a stinky fireplace, contact us to schedule a chimney sweeping so that we can remove the smelly creosote deposits.


When your fireplace smells smoky, the odor problem may involve your drafting system. Blockages in the flue your chimney can be one of the causes of drafting problems. What happens with drafting problems is the smoke that needs to be pushed out of your fireplace cannot exit completely, and this smoke combined with air gets pushed back into the living areas of your home. You can be certain that drafting issues are the cause of your stinky fireplace problem when you light a fire in the fireplace and the room fills with smoke. To take care of these drafting problems, contact Pozzi Chimney Sweep for a professional chimney inspection and sweeping.

Have a stinky fireplace? Contact Pozzi Chimney Sweep to schedule a professional chimney sweeping and inspection so that we can locate the source of the odor and have your home smelling great again.