The cold weather is officially here! There is no doubt that freezing temperatures make everyday activities a bit more of a challenge. Fortunately, all the fireplace owners out there have an easy way to warm up in a jiffy after a long day out and about. Just light up a fire, then spend your evening relaxing by the warm hearth.
Sounds simple enough, right? Not if you deal with smoke back-up on a regular basis!
If you find yourself struggling time and time again with a smoke-filled living room, now is the time to find a permanent solution to your problem. Here are some options you can consider to say good-bye to that nasty smoke for good!
Your damper plays a big role in helping you maintain proper air flow in your chimney. It is meant to stay closed while your chimney is not in use, so you need to be sure to open it again when you go to light a fire. Start out by opening it all the way. Once your fire gets going, you can close it a bit, then simply adjust it as needed while the fire burns.
If you are taking the appropriate steps with your damper, yet still face smoking issues, it may be time to schedule an inspection. A certified chimney technician can take a look to see if your damper is blocked or corroded. Both of these things keep it from functioning as efficiently as possible. If things are really bad, you may need a new damper all together.
What are you using as fuel in your fire? Another time you may see excess smoke is when you burn unseasoned wood. Unseasoned wood contains more water, so a lot of energy is spent burning out the extra moisture. As it burns out, toxins are sent into the air, thus causing you to experience more smoke than necessary.
When looking for wood, look for pieces that are split at the ends, lighter weight, and darker in color. You could also give it a whiff to see how fresh it smells. The fresher it is, the worse it will burn, so go for logs that give off a bit of a musty odor. Lastly, hit the logs together and listen for a hollow, clunking noise, as opposed to a dull, thud. All of these are clear signs that your fuel is ready for use!
Another solution to drafting problems is to take control of your air flow before lighting your fire. When you open your damper, you likely notice a draft of cold air entering your home. This draft will continue until the flue has heated enough to reverse the air flow. Yet, if the cold air keeps pushing smoke out into your living room, this can be a difficult task to accomplish!
Next time you decide to light a fire, start things off by taking a rolled up newspaper, lighting it up, then holding it to the opening of your damper. After a few minutes, you should feel the draft reverse!
If you have tried everything and you are still having problems, call the experts at A-1 Chimney today! We look forward to helping you out!