What Causes Smoking Problems In The Chimney?
One of the best things about the cold, winter months is snuggling up by a warm fire at the end of the day. However, this cozy scene can quickly turn into a mess if the chimney starts to fill the room with smoke. There are many different reasons that a chimney may send smoke into the home instead of out. Some of the problems can be quickly fixed in just a moment, while others may require an inspection.
One of the most common reasons that a chimney smokes is because the family forgets to open the damper. The damper is the part of the chimney that opens up to allow smoke out of the home. It should be closed when the chimney is not in use and many people simply forget to open it again before they make a fire. If the chimney starts to smoke, this is the first thing to check. The simple solution, of course, is opening it and enjoying the fire.
Another common problem that often leads to a smoking chimney is a clogged chimney. The cause of the obstruction could be many different things. In most cases, it is an accumulation of leaves or other natural material that clogs up the chimney. However, in some cases, animals have set up their home inside of the chimney. If that is the problem, it is most likely their fur and nests that have clogged the chimney, making it impossible for smoke to exit the home as it should.
If the room is filling with smoke, the problem may simply be that the fire is not hot enough. Hot air rises and creates a draft, therefore letting the smoke go through the chimney and out of the home. If the fire is not hot enough, it will not be able to make its way out of the chimney. In order to ensure that the fire reaches an appropriate temperature, be sure to use wood that has been seasoned for eight to twelve months.
In some rare cases, the home fills with smoke when the chimney is in use because of negative air pressure. This means that, instead of pushing the smoke out of the home, the air pushes it back in. There are many different factors that can lead to this and most have to do with the ventilation system in the home. For example, some homeowners begin experiencing this problem after having new central heating installed.
There are also instances in which excessive amounts of smoke are a result of the actual structure of the chimney. A proper chimney should stand between three and ten feet above the top of the home. If it is not tall enough, it will not properly vent smoke out of the home. This is because wind and air patterns have a greater impact on it at low heights, sometimes causing the smoke to blow back down into the home.
A room filling with smoke can be a scary and dangerous experience for any family. In some cases, opening the damper or clearing any obstructions in the chimney can quickly solve the problem. If neither of these solutions helps, it may be time to call in a certified chimney sweep to see what else might be causing the issue. It could be anything from the air pressure to the height of the chimney itself.