By: Eric J. Slarkowski
A cold winter day and it would be great to have a nice fire in the fireplace, but the last time you used it you had too much smoke. You can fix your smoky fireplace with a few steps with these tips.
In addition to being an annoying nuisance, a smoky fireplace can ruin your carpets, drapes and discolor the paint on your walls. Most importantly, it is very unhealthy to breathe in this smoke, especially for children, the elderly or anyone with allergies.
The first step is to be sure your damper is open. There is a switch in front of the fireplace that you have to pull back on. Next step, get the chimney warm by burning an easy to burn material such as paper. You are trying to get the cold air out of the chimney, since the cold air will push the warm air down and push smoke into the room.
Next step, choose the right wood. Use seasoned wood, not green lumber which has too much moisture and will smoke. Larger logs take a long time to get hot enough to burn off any residue, so use smaller logs.
Open your windows. If there is not enough draft in a room a fire will not ignite, only smoke. Older homes usually have plenty of draft, but a newer, well insulated home may not have enough air circulating to let the fire catch.
Put some bricks under your fireplace grill in order to create more air circulation. By adding fireplace bricks to raise the grill to stop smoke by creating more draft.
Narrow the fireplace opening. Large fireplaces may have chimneys that are too small for them so not enough draft is created to such all of the air out. You can scale down the opening by installing reducers, available at a fireplace store.
Lower your furnace. You may be cutting down on the air in the house and the air in the chimney comes out smoky. Lower your heat to a level that keeps the rest of the house just comfortable, or turn it off completely.
Make sure the pipes are clear and clean. Leaves, debris, birds nests and other items may be stopping up the free circulation and pushing the smoke back into the house.
Have the fireplace professionally cleaned. If none of these solutions work, you may have a coating of creosote that has formed on the inside of the chimney. This is a by product of burning wood, but the only way to get rid of it is professional cleaning. This is a wise decision for both the health and safety of you and your family.
You want to enjoy your fireplace, not let it be a cause for worry. But you have to give it the proper care in order for it to function well. Do your maintenance and get a cleaning every fall, and then when the cold winter days roll in, you can sit back and enjoy a smoke free fireplace.
About the Author:
Eric Slarkowski continually makes short articles on news relating to firewood splitter and firewood processors. His comments on firewood rack are published on his site.