There’s nothing that’s quite as soothing in the dead of winter as a roaring fire in your fireplace. It creates a nice sense of calm that envelops your entire body. You start to forget about the stressful day you had at work. You find it a little less stressful when you learn that your son is failing three classes. Now, imagine how quickly that sense of calm would vacate the premises if you discovered that the time you just spent getting that roaring fire going in your fireplace was a waste, as your entire room was beginning to fill with smoke and you have no idea why.
Fireplace Mechanics Demystified
Fireplaces that smoke are simply, for whatever reason, not drawing the smoke up the chimney. There are a lot of possible culprits when this happens. There could be a blockage; perhaps a bird has decided to build a nest and make your chimney home. There could be a large tree in your yard that grows over your chimney and impedes the airflow. Perhaps the opening of your fireplace is simply too large for the size of your flue, which can result in smoke taking the path of least resistance and back puffing into your living space.
The issue could also be that there is a downdraft caused by air movement off of your roof. If you’re making home improvements and add storm windows on your house to make it more air tight, this could result in your fireplace being unable to get enough combustion air, which would result in the smoke spilling back into your house. Needless to say, the causes of the smoke are more numerous than you may have originally realized.
More Scientific Reasoning
Cold air is far denser than warm air; hence the reason warm air typically rises. Based on this little morsel of scientific information, one would assume that the warm air would just naturally rise up and out of your chimney, taking the smoke right along with it. However, this isn’t always the case. Creating a warm air siphon would allow your fire to burn properly and draw correctly.
The quick and easy fix for this would be to crack a window in the same room as your fireplace to increase the pressure in the room, thereby causing the warm air to be drawn up the chimney and taking the smoke out of the house. If this isn’t successful, you might also want to consider preheating your flue system by rolling up a few newspapers and lighting them in the fireplace. Making sure your damper is propped open is another easy way to make sure the smoke has a route via which to escape.
Unless you’re hanging out backstage with Willie Nelson and/or Snoop Dogg, being in a room full of smoke probably isn’t your idea of a good time. The good news is that there are steps you can take to remedy these minor situations. You can get a tutor for your son, and you can take the steps listed above to hopefully get the smoke to vacate your home. If all else fails, call the professionals. You won’t find a better choice in the Seattle, WA area for professional services for your chimney and fireplace than Pristine Sweeps. Find out for yourself by giving us a call.