Smoke venting into house (small amounts)

Old 12-29-05, 11:17 AM
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Exclamation Smoke venting into house (small amounts)

Afternoon everyone,
I have a smoke problem with my fireplace. It is a metal insert with metal chute through roof. When I burn a wood fire in it, the fire isnt that hot and I have sometimes a stream of smoke that will flow into the room. The amount of smoke isnt alot, about that of a cigarette, but sometimes at multiple areas along the top of the fireplace. Thus my whole house smells like a fire. My damper is all the way open and the ceiling fan is off. I have a few small cracks in the ceramic? insert within the fireplace. I have gone into the attic and dont see any smoke which would rise into from the cracks. What do I do? I bought a new iron grate and it sits higher than the old one, is this the cause? Is my chute outside not high enough off my roof? (is there a formula) Also on the top of my insert are 2 metal angles welded on which look like they are supposed to catch smoke and send it up through the chute, is this normal? Do I need a sweep? Do I have to worry about those cracks? Someone also told me to open a window (a crack) on the opposite side of the house, havent tried it b/c I dont want the smoke smell again. It is hard to get rid of. It would be nice to burn a HOT FIRE WITHOUT SMOKE IN THE ROOM!!!!
Old 12-29-05, 01:09 PM
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1. A couple questions: How old is your home? If it is older do you have newer doors and/or windows? If your home is too tight you may have a negative pressure problem - cracking a window while using the fireplace should help you determine that.

2. If you have a pre-fab (it sounds like you might) the chimney may be very cold and the cold air may be pushing the warm smoke back into your home. Try warming the chimney by lighting some newspaper and holding it up in the flue for a few seconds; that may help the draw.

3. If your firebox is cracked you should have a professional look at it. The crack may void the U.L. Listed of the unit. Additionally, the unit may no longer be able to contain the products of combustion (aka the heat from your fire) and may be a potential fire hazard.

4. It is a good idea to have the fireplace chimney professionally inspected and swept if necessary before using the fireplace again.

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