How To Stop A Smoky Fireplace

It’s cold, and you want to use your fireplace, but you’ve been having problems in the past with it smoking. You can correct your smoky fireplace issue with a few easy steps. The below guide on how to stop a smoky fireplace should help you correct any problem with a fireplace that fills your house with black silt smoke.

Not only does it need to be done because you can’t use your fireplace, but smoke from a fireplace ruins walls, carpets, and drapes. This smoke is almost impossible to get out of any fabric, including your clothes. Besides, it is not healthy to breathe in the smoke, and it’s especially true for anyone suffering from allergies.

How do I stop my fireplace from smoking?

Stoke up the Fireplace Chimney

Be sure to open your damper. It’s usually found in front of the fireplace and is a simple switch to pull back. Next, warm the chimney air by burning newspaper or other types of safe material in the fireplace. The goal is to get the air warmer in the chimney to push the cold air out and away. Colder air pushes the warmer air down, and smoky air can occur.

Use Seasoned Wood

Don’t burn green timber in your fireplace. Large fireplace logs tend to cause more smoke because it takes them a while to get hot enough to burn off residue. Small logs are the best choice.

Open Windows

Sometimes there’s not enough draft in a room to catch the fireplace to light. It’s not as big of a problem living in an older house. Older homes were not built as energy efficient as newer models are. There’s not much of a draft to circulate for the use of a fireplace. So open one or two windows to help your fireplace start burning.

Purchase Fireplace Bricks

Even though you’re using a grate, it sometimes doesn’t provide enough air circulation under the wood for it to catch. Smoke is the result that billows into your house. You can buy extra fireplace bricks to elevate your grate to a higher level. This will help stop smoking by creating enough draft under the grate.

Scale Down the Fireplace Opening

Extra large fireplaces have more of a problem heating an area. This is usually because the chimney is much smaller than the open hearth. The trick is to balance the size with the chimney. Certain fireplace stores carry reducers that can be installed. Also, look for a shield to catch any smoke that may circulate into the room.

Turn Down the Furnace

Smoky air can be created when there’s not enough air in the house. For example, when it heats the air in the chimney, the fan returns it to the house as smoke when your furnace is on. So turn down the furnace to an acceptable level for the other rooms, or turn it off if you can bear it.

Clean out Pipes or Raise Them

Sometimes the pipes outside can get clogged by debris or even bird nests. At other times pipes are not long enough and need to be replaced. Cutting back high-growing trees and branches will also help cut down on smoke in the fireplace because the air is not stopped from circulating and is pushed back into the house as smoke.

Hire a Professional Cleaning

Smoke from wood can give off a substance known as creosote. This is a natural by-product of burning wood in your fireplace. Have your fireplace checked once a year and cleaned. Fireplace cleaning and maintenance is a safety issue too.

Your fireplace should be something for you to enjoy and not fret over. However, fireplaces are like other things around the house that need care and attention. Remember, just because it doesn’t run off electricity doesn’t mean it can be ignored.

A fireplace sits patiently for autumn to roll around and provide you with warmth. In the meantime, ensure you’re ready to go by inspecting and cleaning it. In the autumn and winter months, you can sit back and enjoy the warmth of the fire and a smoke-free house too.

Mas Broto

Written by: Mas Broto

Mas Broto is a small business owner with 30 years experience in the real estate industry. He is the founder and editor of, the most comprehensive free home improvement website on the planet!