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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

The Best Chimney for Your Situation

There are two types of chimneys, and both have their benefits and limitations. These are masonry chimneys and pre-fabricated chimneys. Masonry chimney is the traditional chimney that is used by most households. Factory built chimneys are a non-masonry material that is easier to install and generally cheaper.

Knowing what type of chimney is best for your home would require analysis of the appliance that the chimney be connected to as well as the vending needs of these appliances. Such appliances would include furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces, etc.

A factory built fireplace will also need a factory built chimney. Wood stoves, on the hand, can be connected to either factory built or masonry chimney. If you decide to have your own chimney, first, think about what the chimney is going to be used for. Determine what type of chimney will work best for you by knowing what appliance will be connected to it. Look at the instruction manual of factory built fireplaces or wood stoves so you can decide perfectly on your chimney type.

If you are installing a new appliance (or changing appliances) into your current chimney, you also need to determine if the chimney will work with your appliance. Never assume that your chimney can serve all types of appliances.

All types of chimneys have the function of bringing smoke out of the house and providing the fire with air. Both of these tasks are performed by the two main types of chimneys, but knowing the advantages and disadvantages of all chimneys and how they differ from each other can help you choose the best chimney for you. Households that are having a hard time deciding on the right chimney should consult a fireplace professional. Choosing the wrong chimney for your appliance can be very dangerous and may even cause fire.

Why Is My Fireplace Smoking

A smoking chimney is a common problem with fireplaces. If the fire is inside your woodstove or fireplace, the smoke should vent outside. If the fireplace in your home is smoking, there are two common reasons this is happening – you have a draft problem in your fireplace or you forgot to open the damper. Aside from these two, there are also other possible causes of smoking fireplaces.

One way of solving this problem is to know first how the smoking occurred, and what can you do to get rid of the smoke:

Damper. The damper is one of the first things to check during when the fireplace is smoking, although it is sometimes overlooked. The damper is the part of chimney the opens and closes to allow the smoke to get out. It is found near the chimney opening on top of the chimney. Check your damper if your fireplace is smoking to see if it is open or closed.

Animals. Birds and other animals are known to build nests inside the chimneys. Most fireplaces are used during the winter only, which makes them idle for several months. This allows birds to nest inside the chimneys. Within those months that chimneys are idle, many birds could have nests inside and the accumulated nests may go in the chimney stack and build up there. Insects such as wasps and bees may also build hives, and dead animals, like squirrels and raccoons, may be caught inside.

Creosote Buildup. Creosote builds up because of burning fires in the woodstove or fireplace. Creosote contains water and carbon by-products that are dangerous when inhaled. Creosote forms when carbon is pushed by hot air inside the cool flue. Water will condense and will mix with carbon-based products which may cause fireplace smoke.

Prevention and Repair. The most easy and effective solution to prevent and fix the chimney smoke is to employ a chimney sweep to thoroughly clean your entire chimney.

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