Homeowners will occasionally call in inquiring, “why is my chimney smokey?” Or report smoke coming into the home from their chimney. The chimney is designed and constructed to pull air up, out, and away from the home. However, there are a few common reasons you may be experiencing what industry professionals refer to as a drafting issue – when air or smoke is coming back into the home, through the chimney. It is extremely important to have any drafting issues, causing a smelly chimney, addressed as the fireplace is often not the only component of a home which uses the chimney. Other heat systems such as the furnace and water-heater, are also exhausted through the chimney, which means if the air is coming back down the chimney rather than out, the natural gases from those systems may be as well.

Causes of Drafting Issues:

  • Build-up of creosote or soot in the chimney’s flue system can cause a negative, or down draft in the chimney
  • Solution: Chimney Sweep & Inspection
  • Holes in the chimney’s flue system (between flue-tiles or throughout the liner) can also be a cause for drafting issues
  • Solution: Assessment of the Flue System (tiles or liner)
  • Missing Rain-Caps
  • Solution: Assessment & Rain-Cap Installation
  • If there are large trees directly above the flue or top of the chimney
  • Solution: Assessment & Trimming of Trees
  • Wind circulating from larger homes or trees that surround your home (mountains can also cause this to happen, but we’re in central Indiana, so..)
  • Solution: Assessment of the height of the flue

It’s really not normal to be experiencing a downdraft from your chimney — it could be quite hazardous. If it smells smokey, or musty, or just strange give us a call, risking the health and safety of your home and those in it is not worth neglecting the issue (it could be as simple as a sweep and inspection).