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.
Usually, the smell coming from your chimney is caused by a buildup of creosote, soot, or other debris. Additionally, rainy days will add moisture and produce an unpleasant smell from your dirty chimney. An inspection and sweep is a good place to start for a smelly chimney because it will remove excess creosote and rule out other common problems that may have caused the smell. During the cleaning, other debris will be removed thus eliminating these options as a cause for the smell.
Common causes of a smelly chimney include water seeping into the chimney and negative air pressure. Having a well-functioning chimney cap will prevent water damage issues. Solving the water issue is relatively simple, but the negative air pressure can be a bit more complicated. Pinpointing what is causing negative air pressure is the tricky part. The change in pressure could be due to changes that you make in your home such as new furnace installation. To correct the negative air pressure issue, you can do a couple of things including: