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Why Isn’t My Fireplace Venting Smoke Properly?

Fireplaces are a comforting part of any home, as well as savings providers on heating bills in the cold of winter. If you have a fireplace, it helps to have a trained expert come in for a regular chimney inspection. St. Paul, MN has too much snow and cold weather to chance a problem. In addition to regular maintenance, you should learn to spot signs of trouble when they appear, particularly if your fireplace isn’t venting smoke properly. There are numerous possible causes, many of which can be addressed by a trained professional.

Common Causes of Improperly Vented Fireplaces

  • Blocked flue. Soot and creosote can built up in your flue, as can leaves and other debris. Birds may make nests in it – especially in the summertime when you’re not using the fireplace – and bricks can come loose as well. All of that can partially or totally block your flue, preventing it from venting smoke properly.
  • Improper flue sizing or chimney height. Chimneys and flues need to be a certain size, depending on the size of the opening to the fireplace. If it was improperly measured during the chimney’s construction, you may experience smoke backing up into your house. Similarly, chimneys need to be a certain height in order to pull smoke upward: the difference in pressure between the top and the bottom of the shaft helps pull up smoke. If the chimney isn’t high enough, it won’t pull up any air.
  • A cold flue. Sometimes, if the flue is cold and hasn’t been used in a while, the air inside becomes dense, preventing smoke from rising. You can correct the problem with the addition of insulated liner within the chimney. (You can sometimes prime the flue by lighting balls of newspaper in the chimney, but in the cold of St. Paul, even that might not be enough.)

If your fireplace isn’t venting properly, contact the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys for a chimney inspection. St. Paul and the whole of the Twin Cities are part of our regular service area, and we have the experience to address the problem properly.

Give us a call today! 

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