Midtown Chimney Sweeps
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Midtown Chimney Sweeps Services

Smoky Fireplaces

Soot In The Face (SITF) can unfortunately be caused by a variety of factors.

The only reason smoke goes up the chimney is because it is lighter than cold air (which is more dense) and because you have a properly sized chimney for the smoke to exit the residence. A smoky fireplace is the most common fireplace problem our customers experience. Whatever the duration or cause of a smoky fireplace, it is important to put a stop to it because it can be dangerous for combustion byproducts to enter your home. If you get a puff of air on the outside of the house that is equal to or greater than the force of the smoke going up the chimney, you will experience acute SITF (Soot In The Face).

There are some fireplaces that are extremely smoky and below are few reasons.

1. Localized downdrafts:

These are puffs of air that come down the chimney and blow the smoke in your face and creates a smoky fireplace. Make sure you have a chimney cap. Your cap is your first defense. If you don’t have a chimney cap on your chimney, you may obtain one from us to avoid smoky rooms.

2. You forgot to open the damper: 

I know it may sound unbelievable, but the solution here is to (drum roll please) open the damper to avoid a smoky fireplace. If you had to look this one up online and if you are reading this now… well… you have our sympathy.

3. Chimney Obstruction:

When a chimney gets clogged, the flue can become so narrow that combustion products can’t properly exit the chimney, resulting in a back draft causing a smoky fireplace.  There are many different types of chimney obstructions which cause a smoky atmosphere, and a few examples are:  an animal builds a nest in your chimney, there is an excessive accumulation of creosote, masonry is deteriorating and falling into the flue, and leaves or other types of debris have collected in the flue. Clearing the blockage can help combustibles escape properly and solve smoky fireplace problems.

4. Cold Flue Syndrome:

 A cold brick chimney or a cold metal factory built chimney will create a chilling effect on the exhaust gases. The exhaust gases will no longer be lighter than the surrounding cold and dense air, so they will essentially come back down the flue to create a smoky fireplace, because your house is a better chimney than the outside world. This may result in acute SITF. If you believe that your chimney has a cold, or the flu, we recommend that you immediately hang up and call… someone.

5. Your House Sucks:

 In some rare cases we have noticed that clients have too many mechanical exhausts in the residence and not enough planned air infiltration locations (“make up air”, or “outside air kits”). A smoky fireplace is the result. Imagine your house as a box, tightly sealed. Now imagine your clothes dryer and the bathroom fan are on simultaneously. These mechanical fans are pumping air out of your box. Unless air is intentionally designed to enter your residence somewhere else, the fireplace will do nicely, meaning your fireplace will run backwards, and air will come down the chimney in order to “make up for” the air that is being pumped out (we assume here that the box, i.e., your house, is strong enough to not collapse under the negative pressure generated by the bathroom exhaust fan and the clothes dryer). Solution: provide a source of air for the mechanical appliances, and also for the fireplace to draw air in for combustion.

 

Summary

As you can see there are a number of issues that can create a smoky fireplace. It is our desire that you will read and share this humorous article with your friends and family. And possibly you might even hire a Certified Midtown Chimney Sweep to come inspect your smoky fireplace!

What people are saying...

  • Customer Testimonials

    I can't stress enough how glad I am to have found these guys. Honest, reliable and affordable. Truly enjoyed working with them.

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    Had them come to do a chimney sweep and dryer vent clean for a condo I just purchased. They were efficient and amazingly helpful, performing the chimney sweep efficiently and going way above and beyond on the dryer vent clean! They found a bird's nest that had been lodged in the dryer vents and was a possible fire hazard - and took care of it and cleaned everything perfectly. I will definitely use them again for future annual chimney sweeps and would highly recommend the to anyone around! Thank you so much!

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    Awesome! I had Byron come service the chimney/fireplace of my new home before winter sets in. What incredible, friendly, and knowledgable service. I will definitely use them again. I hugely recommend them to anyone needing their chimney/fireplace services.

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    Tikar was really professional, punctual and got straight to work. He answered all of my questions and gave me some helpful info about the wood burning stove since I've never used one before. Thank you, Tikar!

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    I've used these guys twice and had an excellent experience both time. Scheduling is easy and communication with the company is very professional. They were very conscientious about putting down drop cloths and keeping everything clean. And they went way above and beyond providing excellent service. I had bought a remote for our propane fireplace a year before and never installed it for myself. When Midtown installed it and it didn't work right away, they personally took it back the place from whom I'd made the purchase to troubleshoot before returning to complete the installation. And spent a ton of extra time on the return trip because they discovered a gasket on that fireplace needed to be replaced and they did it right then and there. I can't say enough good things about these guys!

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    The Midtown Chimney Sweep's representative that came to my home was very professional, knowledgable, and helpful! He answered all the questions I had and helped me fix a gas fireplace I had been having problems with for years! Best experience I've had with a chimney sweep service in years! I will be using this company again!

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    Great customer service and really helpful!!

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    My experience with Midtown Sweeps was primarily through their employee, Jason Allen, who was polite, efficient and knowledgeable. The top of one of my fireplace chimneys had blown off during a major windstorm which is common in Evergreen. I also had a problem with a woodpecker getting in the chimney and wood-pecking on it at all times of the day and night. Jason efficiently climbed on the roof and replaced the chimney top and we had a fun discussion about woodpeckers. If Jason represents Midtown Sweeps as a typical employee, then I recommend the company at a high level and would recommend the company to anyone who needs chimney support.

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    Glen was terrific. He got here on time, was curtious and cleaned up after himself both inside and out. Price was fair. I'd recommend Midtown without hesitation.

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
  • Customer Testimonials

    We found these guys to be very helpful, professional, and competent at a great price.

    Midtown Sweeps Chimney Services
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