A fire – nothing is quite as comforting on a cool autumn evening than a crackling fire. And a big part of that is the smell of the burning wood. You count on this on chilly autumn evenings, during freezing snow storms, and on cool spring nights. Sometimes, however, the smell turns unpleasant, and that is definitely a problem. Also, when the summer turns hot and humid, oftentimes the odor that emanates from your chimney isn’t quite so pleasant, either.

What Causes Bad Odor in Your Chimney

One thing that could be causing unpleasant odors in your chimney could be a blockage. When a blockage exists, smoke and other gasses from the fire aren’t getting drawn out of the chimney like they should be. This seems like it is an easy fix, and, in fact, sometimes it is. Just go in and remove the blockage. If the source of the blockage is near the top of the chimney, you can probably do this yourself. Oftentimes, however, this blockage is caused by a bird or animal nest or even twigs or leaves that have blown deeper down into your chimney. If this is the case, you’ll want to have help with the removal from a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep like those that work at Owens Chimney Systems, Inc.

If you’re noticing a nasty odor coming from your chimney during the fire-burning season, it could be as simple a fix as cleaning out the ashes left after you use the fireplace. The Home Guides website suggests cleaning these ashes out once a week by using a stiff brush to reach into your chimney to loosen any ashes that are in your reach. Brush these into a garbage bag and take them out of the house right away so that you don’t risk spilling them.

If the ashes are too fly-away, try getting them to stabilize by placing damp coffee grounds on the ashes before you brush them up. If you still have an odor in the room, try sprinkling your carpets and furniture with baking soda and letting it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up. This is known to be an odor neutralizer and you should soon have a fresh smelling room.

Draft and Dampers

Another cause of odor is creosote build-up, especially when the weather turns hot and humid. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “[T]he real problem is the air being drawn down the chimney, a symptom of overall pressure problems in the house.” A downdraft happens when you don’t have a fire burning, and air and odors are being forced back into your home. One way of stopping this is to make sure that your dampers are closed. Another simple approach could be to burn votive candles in your fireplace during the summer. A more lasting approach, however, would be to have your chimney cleaned.

Hire Expert Professionals

There’s nothing that can spoil the appearance of a clean home like a bad odor. Give Owens Chimney Systems a call now and schedule your annual inspection and cleaning, and soon your home will not only look but smell, fresh as a spring morning.