Why is Smoke Blowing Down My Chimney?
The primary purpose of a chimney is to remove toxic combustion gases from the home. But you are not alone if you find yourself wondering why is smoke blowing down my chimney? In fact, a smoky fireplace is a common reason people in and around Houston TX and Conroe contact Guardian Chimney Sweep for help. Because the toxic fumes created by wood fires include deadly carbon monoxide, get the problem fixed without delay. A smoky fireplace can be a serious threat to your family’s health. Read on to learn why smoke blows down chimneys.
What is Fueling the Fire?
The only type of fuel that should be used in a wood-burning fireplace is seasoned firewood. It takes fresh-cut logs between 6 months and a year to dry out sufficiently. The moisture level in firewood should not exceed 25%. A dependable way to avoid a smoky fireplace is to use a wood moisture meter and find out the percentage of moisture in the firewood before burning it. Moisture meters for firewood are available online for around $20 and up.
Wet firewood creates excessive smoke that typically blows into the home as well as up the chimney. Green wood also increases the amount of flammable creosote deposited in the chimney flue. Creosote buildup heightens the potential threat of a chimney fire. With the holidays approaching, it may be a good reminder that holiday-related items should not be burned in the fireplace.
Do not place used wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, or a Christmas tree in the fireplace! Colored paper and cardboard contain harmful toxins and burning a Christmas tree could create a dangerous level of heat that results in a house fire.
Could be a Chimney Downdraft
If you frequently ask yourself why is smoke blowing down my chimney, the problem might be a chimney downdraft. Because plumes of combustion smoke inside your home can place family’s health at risk, it’s important to eliminate whatever conditions are creating a smoky fireplace.
Several factors can lead to a chimney downdraft, including the following:
- An undersized flue liner
- The chimney height
- The chimney draft is hindered by exhaust vents in the home
- The damper isn’t fully opened
Chimney sweep experts know what to look for and how to identify conditions that cause chimney downdrafts. Friendly pros like those at Guardian Chimney Sweep will gladly explain the dynamics of chimney downdrafts if requested.
Is the Chimney Blocked or Dirty?
A chimney obstruction will block the chimney draft and cause a fireplace to smoke. If you have not scheduled a chimney cleaning in the past year or more, creosote buildup could be the cause of chimney blockage. Creosote is deposited in the chimney flue layer upon layer with every wood fire you burn. After a while, the chimney can be blocked by all the creosote buildup. Fire safety experts recommend annual chimney cleaning or cleaning after there is 1/8 inch of creosote buildup.
If there is no chimney cap installed, debris such as leaves and twigs can enter the chimney flue and create an obstruction. Squirrels, snakes, birds, raccoons, and other animals tend to be drawn to chimneys, and they could also cause flue blockage.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweep if You Have a Smoky Fireplace
Troubleshooting the cause of a smoky fireplace is one of the specialties of our certified chimney professionals at Guardian Chimney Sweep. If your burning question is why is smoke blowing down my chimney, contact us today. We also provide chimney inspections, chimney masonry repair services, flashing repair, flue liner installation, professional fireplace installation, and more. To reach us today, fill out our contact form or call us at any of the numbers below.
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011