Any quantity of conditions can make contributions to smoking problems in a wood-burning hearth. In a number of cases, cleaning or some relatively simple measures may improve conditions. In other cases, further evaluation and in depth repairs might be necessary.
The first step in most situations is to arrange for an inspection or cleaning of the chimney flue. An authorized chimney sweep is usually the proper pro person to contact for chimney cleaning or inquiry of fireplace or chimney issues. Many sweeps now have kit to take a recording of the chimney flue in order that you can see exactly what problems may actually lie in the flue, as well as to confirm if it was cleaned properly.
Here are some possible practical solutions to worsening smoke problems :
Raise the hearth. A hearth opening that’s too big matched against the opening of the chimney flue can lead to poor drafting ( the movement of the gases that result from the burning wood up the chimney ). To play around with this approach, a sheet metal hearth can be supported on bricks placed on the existing hearth. By building up the base of the fireplace, the opening will be decreased. If this change improves the draft, the hearth can be raised using firebrick masonry. The hearth extension can also be built up to the same level.
Add a canopy hood. An experimental model of a canopy hood can be made of sheet metal and temporarily attached over the top of the hearth opening. Try numerous designs and sizes. If the hood works really well, an everlasting metal hood can be installed.
Extend the chimney. The higher the chimney, the better the draft. A good draft is generally supplied by a chimney which is Twenty feet or more higher than the hearth. Several metal chimney sections can be temporarily installed on top of an existing chimney to check whether the draft is improved before a more permanent ( and costly ) fix is tried. If the current chimney is short a good draft could not be able to develop. Wavering smoke patterns above the chimney may indicate that tall trees are causing a downdraft ( air forced down the chimney by the wind ).
Trim surrounding trees. The encompassing trees should be trimmed and / or the chimney flue height extended to stop this condition.
Add a chimney cap or flueguard.
These recommendations for applying corrections to smoking fireplace conditions might be only the 1st step in some situations. If a downdraft seems to affect the exhaust gases, adding a chimney cap or flueguard of metal or stone may help deflect the air before it entering the chimney. If there are major fireplace inadequacies or the chimney is deteriorated, more drastic measures will be needed. A less costly option is to retrofit a masonry fireside or chimney with a gas-powered fireplace coupled with a new metal flue inside the defective chimney or to use an electric hearth and seal off the old chimney. The only practical options in grim cases might be to reconstruct the fireplace and / or chimney. Simply maintaining a tiny fire may help also.