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Fixing Smoking Chimneys

We all know that old idiom, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” but it’s not exactly preferable to have it the other way around. Sitting by the fire with friends and family is supposed to be warm and fun, not eye-stinging and cough-inducing. If you’re having a problem with a smoking chimney, give Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists a call. There are a variety of issues, large and small, that could be contributing to the smoke, and we’ll help you figure out what those issues are and how to make them go away.

A Starting Place For A Smoking Chimney: Have You Had Your Annual Chimney Sweeping/Inspection?

There may be a problem in your chimney system that’s causing it to smoke, or it may be that you’re simply overdue for your regular chimney sweeping. A dirty, sooty, creosote-layered flue can easily become a smoky one. Give us a call if you haven’t had your chimney swept this season — we’ll let you know if that’s the cause of your smoke.

Common Issues That Contribute To Smoking Chimneys

We run into many different causes for smoking chimneys, but a few of the more common problems that Chim Cheree technicians will look for:

  • An obstructed flue, either due to creosote buildup or debris
  • A chimney cap with a screen that’s become clogged with debris
  • A flue that’s been incorrectly sized for the appliance it’s working to vent

These are just a few of the things we most often find to be the source of smoke problems. When you call Chim Cheree, we’ll thoroughly inspect your chimney to figure out what’s contributing to your specific problem.

Other Simple Things To Check When You See Smoke

User error can be the cause of a smoking chimney, too, and we don’t want you to schedule a service call that isn’t necessary. A few things you can check before you call:

Make sure the damper in your flue is open
It’s wise to close your damper when the flue isn’t in use — but make sure it’s open when you have a fire.

Warm up the flue before you start your fire
A warm flue drafts better and ushers smoke out of the home faster — make a paper cone with rolled up newspaper and hold it, lit, in the flue, before you start your fire.

Use seasoned cord wood
Seasoned cord wood is dried properly, so it won’t produce excess smoke (and it offers a more efficient burn, too). Green wood or wood that still has moisture in it will be a sure source of smoke.

Open a window
Our modern, energy-efficient homes can sometimes make it hard for a fire to get the oxygen it needs. Opening a window can sometimes help minimize smoke.

If you’re having trouble with a smoking chimney, contact Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists, the Upstate’s finest full-service chimney professionals since 1978. Reach us at 864-895-4204, or use our online scheduling form!


If you don’t really know what the problem with your chimney is, let us do some focused troubleshooting as part of a complete chimney inspection.

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We just wanted to write you a note to thank you for your work on our chimney and roof last month. It is so nice to have the leaking problem fixed, and we trust the chimney itself won’t pose any more of a problem in that area until we can have you do more to it. We realize that you could easily and legitimately have charged us much more for all you did, and we want you to know how much we appreciate your giving us such a break on the job. It was a great help to us. May the Lord greatly bless your business in the days ahead and make it up to you many times for your generosity to us.
~ B & C