Our Company Blog

My Fireplace Smells Terrible!

Why Does My Fireplace Stink?

Ideally, your fireplace should be seen and felt — and aside of the cozy scent of burning wood while your fire is going, not smelled. A stinky fireplace makes it less pleasant to hang out at home and embarrassing to have guests over, and beyond that, it’s a strong (-smelling) indicator that something in your chimney system is not quite right.

Fireplace Smells Image - Columbia MO - Advanced Chimney

Sometimes all a smelly fireplace means is that you are in need of a chimney sweeping. Other times, it can signal a more serious issue. Either way, call a certified professional and keep the fire going.

If you’ve been noticing a foul or strong odor coming from your fireplace, call Advanced Chimney Techniques — our CSIA-certified techs can inspect your chimney to figure out what kind of issue you’re dealing with. In the meantime, here are a few of the more common culprits of stinky fireplaces that we come across:

Are You Overdue For A Chimney Sweeping?

More often than not, a stinky fireplace is the result of being overdue for your regular chimney sweeping  appointment. If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, creosote will develop in the flue over time as you use the appliance. And creosote has a strong, smoky odor, so as it builds up further, so does the smell.

We recommend having your chimney swept regularly, first and foremost, because creosote deposits are highly flammable — which could create a fire hazard — and can negatively contribute to the draft and function of your chimney. But keeping your chimney clean ensures that it isn’t stinky, too, so it’s worth keeping up with your sweeping appointments on many levels. (To make it easy, you can make an appointment with Advanced Chimney Techniques online!

Other Common Contributors To Stinky Fireplaces

Are Unwanted Visitors In Your Flue?

As a rule, the only thing we want moving around in your chimney is air, as it carries the byproducts of combustion up and out of your home. But other things can get in there sometimes, particularly if your chimney cap is damaged or missing.

Animals, including birds and many mammals, see your chimney as a comfortable and safe place to nest. And when those animals move into your chimney, they bring along flammable (and potentially smelly) nesting materials and their own collections of bad smells, annoying sounds and intrusive insects. If a young or sick animal isn’t able to get out of your flue, it can die inside the chimney, leaving unsanitary conditions and particularly foul odors.

Advanced Chimney Techniques technicians can rid your chimney of debris and install a proper chimney cap to keep those unwanted visitors out in the future.

Water Intrusion Is Damaging… And Smelly

Chimney leaks are frustrating on many levels. Water intrusion can damage your masonry and building materials, cause stains and discoloration and leave a musty and mildewy odor that’s tough to ignore.

If moisture is the source of the odors coming out of your fireplace, our first task will be figuring out where the leak or leaks are hiding, and making the proper repairs to stop them. But don’t worry — Advanced Chimney Techniques technicians can restore your chimney system to clear up any secondary damage that’s resulted too. And bonus: Your repaired, restored chimney won’t be feeding a stinky fireplace anymore.

Those are just a few of the common sources of stinky fireplaces that we come across at Advanced Chimney Techniques. If you have any worries or questions, just give us a call — we’d be glad to help!