Why Does My Fireplace Stink?

Everyone wants their home to be appealing to their visitors.  Many have the living room as a common gathering place, and during the holidays the fireplace is a symbol of the warm feeling in the home.  However, you may notice a foul smell coming from your fireplace. A certified sweep can help you identify the cause of the smell and help craft a solution. Your annual cleaning and inspection gives the sweep critical information to assist in making your living room pleasant again.

Enjoy your fireplace odor-free! Call a certified sweep today to make sure you don't have a dangerous build up of creosote.

Enjoy your fireplace odor-free! Call a certified sweep today to make sure you don’t have a dangerous build up of creosote.

Smells in fireplaces are formed from creosote deposits in the chimney.  These odors are usually worse in the summer when the humidity rises, when it begins to rain, or when the air conditioner is running in the home.  While a chimney sweep will help reduce some of the built up odors, it will not eliminate them.  Creosotes will absorb into the construction of your chimney, going beyond the surface.  The chimney sweep is designed more to remove buildup that can cause fires.

The problem with smells is the amount of air and pressure sending the air through the chimney, flushing the various odors down as well.  There are many reasons for pressure change, some caused by problems with old parts such as damper closure and exhaust vents.  New equipment, such as a new furnace or water heater, or new windows, being added can also change airflow.

There are ways to fix the negative air being brought in by your chimney, and most are simple steps.  If one method does not work, it is recommended that you try more than one way to remove the smell.  The first thing to do is to close your fire damper when it is not in use.  This usually stops all problems, unless there is a problem with the seal.  Also, some people have a glass screen installed so that the air cannot pass through.  Also, you can change the airflow in the other appliances that are helping create the negative air.

Ask your sweep to confirm at your cleaning and inspection that there are no critters or birds that have taken up residence in your chimney. Chimney Swifts are a federally protected bird and cannot just be removed. The sweep will help you narrow down the probable cause of the smell. The sweep will also be able to help you make decisions about a chimney cap that can help keep curious animals and birds out of your chimney.