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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

What to do when Smoke Comes into Your Home

Nothing is better than sitting around the warm glow of a wood burning fireplace. Cuddling up with loved ones around a fireplace is both fun and relaxing. However, there is nothing fun and relaxing when your fireplace starts to send smoke into your living areas. At Old Smokey’s, we want to let you know why there might be smoke coming from your chimney and what you can do to fix it.

Your home’s airflow system is key to a properly working chimney system. If there are issues within this system it can lead to a number of problems which could cause smoke to come into your home.

Chimney Blockages

Your chimney is designed to take warm air and gases created by your fireplace upwards and out of your home. However, if there is a blockage in your chimney, you may not be getting a proper updraft. Smoke could come into your home as a result. Chimney blockages are caused by any number of different things including:

  • creosote build up,
  • animal nests,
  • or even just a malfunctioning damper.

There are different solutions to blockage issues depending on what is causing the blockage. No matter what the cause is, it is important that you have a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep, like the ones at Old Smokey’s, assess the situation and find a solution that is best for your chimney system.

Negative Air Pressure

Sometimes if a home is sealed up too well a slight vacuum can be created inside your home. This negative air pressure can actually draw from outside through the chimney causing smoke to come inside your home. To cure negative air pressure, simple crack a window open in your home and allow the pressure to equalize.

Improper Burning

Make sure that you are not burning items that shouldn’t be burned in your fireplace. Burning paper, cardboard, or unseasoned firewood can create more smoke than your chimney might be able to handle. Remember to only burn wood in your fireplace and be sure that the wood you burn has been properly seasoned.

Too Much Moisture

Getting too much water in your chimney flue can cause smoke to cool down. Cooled smoke won’t rise as fast as it should, causing smoke buildup. You can prevent a lot of moisture from coming into your chimney by adding a chimney cap to the top of your chimney.

If you are having issues with smoke and can’t determine the cause, Old Smokey’s is here for you. Call Old Smokey’s today at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our CSIA chimney technicians today!

Storing Wood in the Summer

Imagine driving by a lumberyard and saw acres of chopped firewood Summer Tips for Storing Wood IMG- Fort Wayne, IN- Old Smokeys Fireplace & Chimneybasking in the sun. It’s a postcard-perfect scene of cords of wood cut from timber. And it is a splendid demonstration of seasoning wood for optimum burning in the fall and winter.

Even though summer is upon us, selecting and seasoning firewood now will bring benefits next fall and winter. Using seasoned firewood will improve the performance of your fireplace or stove. It is not too early to begin seasoning your firewood. In fact, you need all the time (and then some) between now and heating season to properly season your firewood.

As our name indicates, Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney knows about wood and how to burn it. With more than 30 years of satisfying customers in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and midsouth Michigan, we are proud to serve you. Call 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539, or schedule an appointment online for any issues related to fireplaces, hearths, chimneys — and firewood.

What exactly is meant by “seasoned firewood”?

Seasoning your firewood means drying it out, and not via industrial-strength hair dryers! It takes time.

Seasoned firewood has about 20 percent moisture content. It has several important characteristics and features that affect combustion. For one thing, seasoned firewood tends to light more easily, and it burns more readily and efficiently. When it burns, there’s less creosote buildup and less smoke.

Your choice of the type of seasoned firewood also affects the quality and type of fire you have in your fireplace or stove. It is wise to use hardwoods such as oak, hickory, and elm because hardwoods produce a longer-lasting fire.

How do you season firewood? Picture the scene at that lumberyard. Stack it and dry it for at least six months before you burn it in your fireplace or wood-burning stove. Many people like to season their firewood for a full year. Some say you can season firewood in only three months, but that’s pushing the limit.

Sun and wind are you strongest allies when it comes to seasoning your firewood. Knowing that, pile your chopped firewood in a place where the sun’s rays can warm it and the wind can blow. Space the rows enough apart so that sun and wind can do their work. Consider putting the wood on a raised platform.

Old Smokey’s suggests you take full advantage of the drying effects of wind and sun by leaving the wood fully exposed during the day. If the forecast calls for clear weather, you might leave the wood open and uncovered in the daytime. If there’s a chance of rain, you can cover it.

But time is your biggest factor in seasoning wood, even more than wind and sun. Allowing ample time for firewood seasoning is your greatest assurance of success. It’s sort of a reversal of marinating. Both require time and patience.

The professionals at Old Smokey’s are eager to share their experiences, and those of our many customers over the years, regarding firewood seasoning. We enjoy the crackling conversation — in any season.

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