Two Ways To Eliminate Smelly Fireplaces

If you have a working fireplace in your home, you may have noticed that your home has an unpleasant smell especially when you do not have a fire burning. Your fireplace should not emit an unpleasant smell at any point during the year. If it does, the smell normally signals that something is wrong. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can combat this smell. This is what you should know about unpleasant chimney odors.

What Is Causing The Smell?

Figuring out the source of the odor is the first step toward fixing it. There can be several causes of the smell that is coming from your fireplace:

  • Creosote 
  • Bird's nests
  • Bats
  • Bat guano
  • Dead animals
  • Animal scat
  • Rotten Leaves and more

In addition to having these items in your chimney, the smell may also be caused by two other things. They are:

  • Water seeping or standing in your chimney 
  • Negative air pressure coming down your chimney

How To Get Rid Of The Smell?

The first thing you need to do is to invest in a professional chimney inspection and cleaning. This will not only help to get rid of some of foreign debris and creosote that is present in your chimney, but it will also help you to identify the source of your problems, which may lead you to a cure. Unfortunately, even after your chimney is cleaned, it still has the potential to smell. You may be able to reduce or eliminate this smell by doing the following.

A chimney cleaning will remove any animals, foreign objects, and built-up creosote that may be causing some of your smell. Adding a chimney cap will keep any additional animals, debris, or water from entering your space. 

Should You Close Off The Chimney?

Negative air takes place when appliances that are vented to the outside of your home draw more air out of your home than what is naturally available through the air coming from drafts, cracks, and crevices. This will cause your home to pull air from whatever source it can. If your chimney is open, it becomes a prime source of this air. This negative air is then dragged down your chimney across any baked-on creosote or ash, which can cause a smell in your home.

Consider installing a tight-fighting damper that can be closed when your fireplace is not being used. This may reduce some of the negative air that is being drawn into your home. If you do not want to install a damper, there are several other products on the market that can also be used to achieve this same purpose. You can find them at your home improvement stores by asking for:

  • Draftstoppers
  • Fireplace plugs
  • Chimney pillows
  • Chimney balloons and more

Although these vary by manufacturers, they all achieve the same basic purpose, which is closing off your chimney. 

For more information or assistance with your chimney, check with companies like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service.