Having a fireplace is something most homeowners fantasize about and, if you are lucky enough to own one, then you are well aware of the cozy ambiance that they bring to any home. Yet, with this luxury comes a lot of responsibility. Fireplaces need a lot of regular maintenance to ensure that they run properly and keep your home safe.
Schedule A Cleaning
If you are dealing with nasty smells from your chimney, the first thing you will want to do is schedule a cleaning to ensure that excess debris has not built up. Chimney smells are typically caused by creosote and it will need to be cleaned out before anything can be resolved. On top of this too much creosote in a chimney will make fires more likely to occur, as this substance is highly flammable. If you have not had your chimney professionally cleaned or inspected for a while, this is definitely the first step you will want to take in addressing any issues with smell.
If you have recently gotten your chimney cleaned, then there are other things you can do to reduce a bad smell. Downdrafts are a typical cause for these odors to occur. The pressure from outdoors forces air down the chimney and pushes these smells into your home, quickly stinking up your carpet, curtains, furniture, and various other belongings. Learning to reduce this draft is key in living more comfortably and keeping these fumes out.
If you aim to go about doing this, there a couple of different techniques you can use. One thing you can do is check to see if you chimney size has anything to do with your draft issues. A too big or too small chimney plays a large role in how air pressure affects your set-up. By calling in a professional, you can gain more insight into the proper dimensions for a chimney, based upon your specific home and needs.
Another thing you can try is adjusting the damper. The windier it is outside, the more draft issues you will invite in, so make sure your damper is in top condition so that you can use it to its full advantage in these scenarios. Whether or not you need to simply adjust it or close it completely will depend on your specific fireplace and upon how windy it is outside.
If you discover that draft issues are a problem for you, be sure to heat the fireplace a bit before lighting any fires. By holding a lit roll of newspapers inside of your fireplace for a little while, you will reverse the draft and can then safely light a fire, without having to worry about excess smoke entering your home.