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Smoky Chimneys

Is your chimney smoky? Does smoke back up every time you use your fireplace? Is the front of your fireplace covered with smoke and soot stains? Do you smell smoke odors throughout your home?

Smoky chimney and fireplace repairs in Columbus OH, Amlin OH, Lewis Center OHThese chimney problems aren’t uncommon. The Chimney Guys address a variety of smoky chimney issues for our customers throughout the Greater Columbus, Ohio, region. Here’s what you need to know and how we can help.

What Causes a Smoky Chimney?

Before we start, let’s differentiate between a smoky chimney and a chimney fire. A chimney fire will definitely produce a lot of smoke, but this isn’t what we’re talking about when we refer to a “smokey chimney.”

Under normal conditions, an air draft causes smoke to move up and out of the fireplace, into the chimney, and away from the home. Air causes smoke to move, and anything that prevents or reduces this air will lead to smoke problems.

Here are the seven most common reasons for your chimney to send smoke into your home.

1. Cold Flue

Cold air is heavier than warm air. When warm smoke moves into a cold flue, it doesn’t move well and sometimes backs up. Solutions include a top-mount chimney damper to block some of the outside cold from getting into the chimney. In a pinch, ignite the tip of a rolled-up newspaper and hold it up in the flue for a few minutes to warm it up before starting a fire.

2. Flue Blockage

Excess creosote and soot buildup will narrow the flue and cause smoke to draft poorly. Leaves, twigs and the nests of small animals will also obstruct the flue passage. Have your chimney professionally swept to remove creosote and debris. Install a chimney cap to keep debris out.

3. Clogged Chimney Cap

Debris clogging the mesh siding of chimney caps and flue covers can impede flue drafting and cause a smoke backup. Clean out the mesh to solve this smoky chimney problem.

4. Flue Liner and Firebox Not Matched in Size

Chimney liners and fireboxes must be correctly sized for one another in order for smoke to draft correctly. If there’s a mismatch, not only can backups occur, but you may have a lot of trouble getting a fire going and keeping it going. Have your system inspected to address this problem.

5. Negative Air Pressure

Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and air-tight houses can create negative air pressure and prevent a good chimney draft. Try turning off the fans and cracking a window near the fireplace.

6. Damp Firewood

Unseasoned firewood creates a ton of smoke. Use only seasoned wood that has had at least six months to dry out.

7. Damper Is Closed

It’s easier to overlook this than you might think.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide

Smoke is no good, but carbon monoxide is worse. Carried in fireplace smoke, carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless but is known to be poisonous and possibly fatal to people and animals.
Always remember that the smoke you see contains something very dangerous that you can’t see.

Expert Chimney Inspections in Columbus OH and Reynoldsburg OHSolve Your Smoky Chimney Problems Now

The Chimney Guys is here to solve your smoky chimney problems. Our services include CSIA-certified chimney sweeping, licensed inspections, chimney repairs and the professional installation of fireplaces and stoves.

Since 2004, we’ve served customers in Columbus OH, Reynoldsburg OH, Pataskala OH, Mount Vernon OH, New Albany OH, Canal Winchester OH, Hilliard OH, Dublin OH, Heath OH, Powell OH, Grove City OH, and many other Ohio communities.

Reach us at (614) 446-1221 or get in touch with our contact form.

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