State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500597
stove or fireplace is letting smoke into the house first make sure that
the flue gas dampers are open. If the dampers are open, then the best
way to solve the immediate problem is to open a window or door on the
first floor or basement while at the same time close all openings in
the upper parts of the house. If the weather is windy, the open windows
or doors should be on the windward side of the house. To keep smoke
from entering a room, turn off kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and
close forced air heating registers that are near the fireplace.
If the chimney serves a stove, move the stove closer to the chimney and
eliminate elbows in the stovepipe connector. If the chimney serves a
fireplace, the only solution may be to make the fireplace opening
smaller. This can be done by raising the hearth or installing a canopy
hood down from the top of the fireplace opening.Prefabricated chimneys
can be made taller by adding another section or two. Weather stripping
or otherwise sealing upstairs windows and attic doors can help.
If you tried these remedies and smoking still occurs, the only remedies
are either a smaller stove or fireplace, or a new chimney. Increasing
the diameter of the chimney is the surest way to get more capacity.
Smoke coming out of stove while first starting up in cold weather.
Temperature differential between outdoors and indoors causing changes
in air movement in the house to equalize that of the outside pressure.
The air in the house becomes buoyant, drawing air from the chimney
(reverse chimney flow); or not enough air to supply fire. Remedy
window near the stove (easiest, safest). Provide a separate air inlet.
or Place a lighted newspaper in the stove pipe inlet.
Smoke coming out of stove or fireplace when windy.
currents force air back down the chimney. Nearby trees, buildings in
roof projections often cause downdrafts during windy periods.
chimney for correct height in relation to nearby objects. Remove nearby
obstructions. Place a chimney cap on chimney. If there is an existing
cap, try a cap of different design. Change chimney height.
Smoke continuously out of stove or fireplace.
Blocked flow of flue gases or flues partially filled with soot and
creosote; or the flue may not be large enough to carry the smoke and
gases outside; or green or wet wood can cause smoke since heat is used
to dry the wood, also softwoods can cause smoke because of the resin in
wood; or the flue may be too large (in older houses which have a large
central chimney with several fireplaces and flue openings, there may
not be enough draft to keep the column of smoke rising if only one
fireplace or stove is used); or not enough air for efficient
combustion; or cracks or leaks in flue lining.
chimney for obstacles (bird-nests, branches, leaves, etc.). Clean the
chimney. Install a large flue or attach a smaller appliance. Keep hot
fire going; use seasoned dry wood or split the green wood finer and mix
it with dry wood. Reduce the cross sectional area at the top of the
chimney or install a stove pipe through the center of the chimney.
Provide a separate air inlet for wood burning appliances. Check flue
liners. Install a smoke shelf in fireplace.
Smoke coming out of one fireplace while another wood stove or fireplace
is in use.
wood burning appliances sharing the same flue may result in smoke
traveling from one appliance to another. If each appliance has a
separate flue, there may be smoke leaking from an adjacent liner to the
liner serving the other appliance. If the flue height in adjacent
liners is equal at the chimney cap, smoke can be pushed or sucked down
disconnect one appliance or plug the fireplace opening if two
appliances are sharing same fireplace flue. Add a separate flue for
each appliance. Check for breaks in adjoining flues or stagger flue
joints. Change height of nearby flues extending out the chimney.
This information comes from Michigan State University Extension
Smoke Problems and Their Cures.
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This information is for
educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension.
Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product
MSU is an
employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials
are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran
status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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