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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Having an efficient dryer vent

Home appliances make our lives so much easier, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that our appliances need periodic maintenance and, inspections. Annual dryer vent inspections are important for a few reasons. At Old Smokey’s our ventilation experts want to remind you that having a clean dryer vent can make your dryer run more efficiently, saving you time and money. It also has the added benefit of keeping your home safer.

dryer ventilation system in ceiling

Clogged vents

It takes a lot of hot moving air to dry wet clothing. To avoid overheating, dryers need a place to vent the air it pushes through your clothing. For most models of clothes dryers, there is an opening for ventilation in the back. This opening is usually about four to six inches and is connected to a duct that directs the air into your home’s main ventilation ductwork, or outside of your home. When your dryer is in use, tiny pieces of cloth called lint break loose from your clothing. This lint gets caught up in your dryer’s airflow and is propelled toward your dryer’s vent until it is intercepted by your dryer’s lint trap. A lint trap prevents lint from entering your dryer and home’s ductwork.

Efficiency

Your lint trap doesn’t catch all of the lint pushed towards your ventilation, however. When lint gets past your lint trap, it can settle in your dryer’s ventilation. A build-up of just a little bit of lint can reduce airflow significantly. This reduction in airflow does two things: first, it makes it more likely that lint will get trapped in your ventilation duct; and second, it pushes cooler air back into your dryer making your dryer less efficient by extending drying times. If it gets to the point that there is a significant clog in your ventilation, not only does it drain your efficiency, but it can be a very serious safety hazard. Clogged dryer vents can lead to your dryer overheating, causing it to start on fire, or it can cause dangerous carbon monoxide gas to leak into your home.

Vent Cleaning

The best way to keep your dryer running efficiently and keep your home safe is to make sure your dryer vent is inspected annually by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified ventilation expert. At Old Smokey’s, our CSIA certified ventilation technicians have had a ton of knowledge and experience inspecting and cleaning dryer ventilation duct.
You can be sure that our technicians will have your dryer running efficiently and safely, year after year.

Once lint gets into your dryer ventilation, it will accumulate quickly, so don’t push off cleaning your ventilation for another year. If you live in northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan and it’s been a while since you’ve had your ventilation inspected, call Old Smokey’s today at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an in-home appointment online.

Why does my fireplace stink?

Your fireplace brings a warm and inviting ambiance to your home. However, this ambiance can be ruined if your fireplace is producing odors that are unpleasant. There are many reasons why your chimney and fireplace are creating bad smells. Here at Old Smokey’s, we want to help you identify what is causing your chimney odors. Not only that, we can remediate them so you can get back to enjoying your living area.

chimney with smoke against blue sky

What causes chimney odors?

There are many reasons why your chimney and fireplace might be producing odors, but some reasons may be more common than others. One of the more common reasons your fireplace is causing odors is because of something called negative air pressure. Modern homes are built to be as energy-efficient as possible by installing windows and doors that are airtight. This is good for your home’s energy consumption, but it does have one unexpected side-effect. Because there is no air flowing through your home, the air pressure inside your home drops forcing it to draw air from the outside. If your home can’t pull air through doors or windows, it will pull air through the chimney along with any odors inside your chimney.

Pressure Imbalances

There are some things you can do to address pressure imbalance. The easiest solution is to simply open a window to relieve the negative air pressure in your home. This solution only works for a while and once your home builds up negative air pressure again, you will have to open the window again. So, although this relieves air pressure conditions in your home, it is only a short-term solution. Normally, your damper should block moist air from coming down your chimney. If it isn’t, it needs to be replaced. At Old Smokey’s we suggest replacing your old damper with a top-sealing damper. Top sealing dampers will block air from coming down your chimney (as well as rain, animals, and debris) and are very durable.

Chimney Moisture

Chimney moisture is another common cause of chimney odor. When water condenses inside your chimney, it can often cause a musty smell. If condensed moisture is allowed to mix with creosote, it can also cause some pretty intense and offensive odors. If moisture is prevented from getting into your chimney, it can remediate a lot of these issues. There are a lot of reasons why moisture could be entering your chimney. Damaged chimney caps, cracked masonry, and a faulty chimney liner are just a few of the reasons that moisture is entering your chimney. If you notice moisture dripping from your chimney into your fireplace, call us. We can identify the cause of the issue and fix it for you.

There are some other reasons why your chimney could be creating odors including, excessive creosote build-up, dead animals, and rotting vegetation. A lot of odor issues can be identified and resolved by scheduling an annual chimney inspection with one of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) chimney technicians at Old Smokey’s. Don’t let your smelly chimney ruin your home’s ambiance anymore! If you live in the northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, call Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our CSIA certified masons today!

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