We get the question often from homeowners, “Why do I have a smokey chimney?”

Most of the time the answer is typically due to a drafting issue.

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, which is when air or smoke is coming back into the home through the chimney. It is extremely important to have any drafting issues addressed, which causes a smokey chimney, as the fireplace is often not the only component of a home that 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.

What causes drafting issues leading to a smokey chimney?

  • Cause: Build-up of creosote or soot in the chimney’s flue system can cause a negative, or down draft in the chimney.
    Solution: Schedule a chimney sweep and inspection.

  • Cause: Holes in the chimney’s flue system (between flue-tiles or throughout the chimney liner) can also be a cause for drafting issues.
    Solution: Schedule an assessment of the flue system (tiles or liner)

  • Cause: Missing rain-caps, which serve several important functions for the chimney.
    Solution: Schedule an assessment and rain-cap installation.

  • Cause: Large trees fall directly above the flue or top of the chimney.
    Solution:  Schedule an assessment and tree trimming.
  • Cause: Wind is circulating from larger homes, trees or mountains that surround your home.
    Solution: Schedule an assessment to determine the height of the flue.

It’s not normal to be experiencing a downdraft from your chimney and it could turn out to be quite hazardous. If it smells smokey or musty or just down right strange, be sure to give your Nashville Brick + Ember Outfitters a call right away at (615) 823-8268. Risking the health and safety of your home and those in it is not worth neglecting the issue. Often times, getting rid of a smokey chimney issue can be as simple as a sweep and inspection.