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My chimney is dirty

Troubleshooting Your Fireplace

There could be many reasons that your fireplace isn’t functioning correctly, and we want to help you solve the problem. Below is a list of potential issues and their respective solutions. Note that this list of problems/solutions is simplified, and a correct understanding of fireplaces requires an expert-level knowledge of airflow patterns.

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Dirty chimneys can be a severe fire hazard. Keeping your chimney clean is a vital part of preventing chimney fires. The following signs indicate that your chimney is in need of cleaning:

  • Burned wood odors coming from the fireplace
  • Fires that burn poorly
  • Smoke entering the home
  • A black damper

The chimneys job is to expel the byproducts (water vapor, smoke, gases, etc.) that fire produces. The residue these byproducts create that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote. Creosote can prevent proper venting of the chimney system, causing dangerous fumes to enter the home.

There are other forms of blockage besides creosote such as bird’s nests, leaves, and other debris.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends having chimneys inspected annually.

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