Smoky Fireplace


Old 03-03-05, 09:13 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 1,067
Question Smoky Fireplace

I purchased home apprx 1 yr ago that has a wood burning fireplace. Home was built circa 1960s. Never burned a fire before. Had a chimneysweep out 2 wks ago to inspect fireplace. He said it was his opinion that fireplace might not draw properly(he had seen this situation in other homes in my neighborhood) and he recommended installing a piece of sheetmetal that would be installed at top on inside of fireplace opening and hang down. Aesthetically, his suggestion did not appeal to me. So this past weekend, I started a fire in the fireplace, first with one of the compressed starter logs and then with some seasoned oak. ChimneySweep was correct as room became smoky. Any suggestions on what I might do other than convert to gas logs? Chimney sweep said condition of fireplace and flue was fine. Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-03-05, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northeastern NC On The Albemarle Sound
Posts: 10,952
The primary reason that fireplaces in modern homes won't draw properly is that the homes are too air tight.
Until you get the chimney heated up to where it draws properly, crack a window (or outside door if in same room) for air.
Good Luck!
Old 03-03-05, 09:36 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,827
A lot depends on the house itself. If the house is tight (minimum air leaks) it hinders the smoke from going up the chimney (no flow through). If you hold a lit piece of newspaper in the fireplace just before lighting the fire you may create a draft that takes the smoke up the chimney. You may also have to crack a window to give it draft. I am not sure what the chimneysweeps suggestion was all about. Then again, I don't do this for a living. You also have to make sure that ceiling fans are not sucking the smoke out of the firebox. Draft is what brings it all together so thats what you have to create. Good luck.
Watch this post for other ideas.
Old 03-15-05, 01:27 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389

Sounds like he thinks the chimney. Is not high enough there to get a good draft. Have had to make pipes to go on top of chimneys. o clear trees and roof ridge of the home.
Like said you have to open a window for air to get in to go up the flue. lots of times a home from the 60's have a ash drop and a clean outdoor outside on the chimney base. If so we take and drill lots of holes on the small steel clean out door out side . Then inside in the fireplace on the steel dump door weld a small nut so the door cant go closed all the way. This way when you build a fire in the fireplace it has air to come in to go up ths flue.
This day and age we put in a outside air intake in all fire places and have it right in the hearth so it is right in front of the glass doors and the draft opening there.



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