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Don’t Let A Smoky Chimney Ruin Your Holiday Season

Do you plan on hosting any parties or events this holiday season? If so. then you can count on your fireplace to set the perfect aesthetic for you. A crackling fire lightens up any room, adds a cozy atmosphere, and helps set that festive mood that every homeowner desires. That being said, a fun-filled night in can easily turn bad when smoke starting pouring into your living room.

Avoid this issue by studying some of our tips below! We’ll discuss what causes smoke to back-up and educate you on how to prevent it from happening to you.

Is Your Damper Working?

First things first, if you notice smoke backing up, check your damper. Sometimes homeowners simply forget to open it, but other times it’s stuck or broken. A fireplace can’t run without a properly working damper, so count on us to make sure yours is good to go! We’ll do a thorough inspection and take the appropriate steps to resolve any issues you may be facing.

Need your current damper replaced? No problem! We can take care of that, too. Give us a call and we will set up with an appointment.

Is Your Firewood Properly Seasoned?

Ensuring your firewood has been seasoned for at least 6 months (preferably longer) can make a huge impact on how much, or how little, your fireplace smokes. Wood that isn’t properly seasoned will hold more water, forcing your fire to use up a lot of energy burning through all the excess moisture. This causes smoke to form. Unfortunately, these fumes can easily enter your home and, when they don’t, they cause creosote and other harmful buildup to form in your chimney.

Unfortunately, when creosote accumulates, this too can cause smoke to form! It’s a vicious cycle, so choosing seasoned wood from the start is your best bet. Pick out pieces that are lighter in weight, dark and split at the ends, and that make a hollow sound when smacked together. All of these signs indicate it has been properly dried out, and your fire will smoke significantly less.

Is Your Flue In Need Of Repair?

If your flue needs some tuning up, you may experience drafting and smoking issues, too. Call us in for any and all of your chimney repairs. It’s always best to address these sooner, rather than later, and you can count on us to handle anything that comes our way!

Don’t Waste Time

When smoke and other harmful toxins enter your home, it can cause a lot of stress. If family members inhale these fumes, they could be facing some serious illnesses. The longer you put off repairs, the worse your issues will become. This is why it’s so important to invest in yearly inspections and regular sweepings by a CSIA certified chimney sweep. So, you can depend on the staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to set you up right!

We won’t let you down. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

Maintaining Proper Draft

With the wintertime ahead of us, many homeowners will begin to break out the blankets, hot chocolate, and the fireplaces.  Before getting too cozy, make sure you have gotten everything ready for a safe burning season.  Chimney sweeps are the first step in preventative maintenance, along with having someone check for minor damages that are recommended for once a year.

If you have a smoky fire, this could be a sign there is blockage in your chimney.

If you have a smoky fire, this could be a sign there is blockage in your chimney.

One of the main problems caused with a fireplace is a draft problem within the chimney.  The capacity, how much air can flow through the chimney, and the draft, how much air can flow through the chimney, work together in a positive correlation.  When there is a problem it can become dangerous because smoke is not able to flow out of the home.  Chimney sweeps are very important to preventing draft problems because they remove all the layers of creosote that have built up in your chimney.  This will also remove any fallen pieces of brick or twigs and leaves.  Also, they make sure that there are no leaks in your chimney, as any in the lower half will cause airflow issues.

If none of these are the cause of your chimney’s problem, you may need to look further or get a professional.  Sometimes the size of the chimney is the problem, whether it is too wide or too short, and just by doubling the height you can increase the draft by 41 percent.  If you have a small home that is well sealed, your house could be too tight to allow the air inside to ventilate.  If this is the problem, opening a window may be a quick fix.  If after checking all of these places you draft is still not fixed it may be time to get a new combustion-air system.  Unfortunately, the last result would be to install a new chimney.  If you recognize a problem, do not ignore it as a small problem can always grow into something bigger.