A properly functioning wood burning fireplace adds warmth to your home without smoke or odors. However, if changes in atmospheric pressure, or if creosote, accumulate too much in the chimney, it may not work properly causing smoke in the house. If your fireplace causes problems, do something to see if you can solve the problem before calling a technician.


  1. Open the hatch in the chimney. If it is not open, the shoulder may not have enough air. The result is smoke in your home.
  2. Heat the shoulder. Light some newspapers on the back of the fireplace. Watch the smoke. If you enter the room, the hummer may be too cold. Keep the newspapers on until the smoke rises through the chimney, which will do so once the fuel is heated. Then you can light your normal fire. If this remains a common problem, install a liner to insulate the chimney.
  3. Keep all openings in the house ventilation system open. Otherwise, the air supply may depressurize the house, causing the fireplace to generate smoke. Operating appliances such as the clothes dryer, the bath exhaust fan or the attic can also contribute to the problem. If the problem continues, add an outside air source to the combustion of the chimney to help maintain adequate air pressure for a good shot from the chimney.
  4. Increase the height of the chimney if it generates smoke on windy or rainy days. Fireplaces must comply with local building codes, but are sometimes too short to draw smoke from the house under certain atmospheric conditions.
  5. Inspect the shoulder for damage and possible clogging. If you have material such as bird nests or trapped leaves, the fireplace will not be able to draw enough air. Clean the spark gap as much as you can. If it is repeatedly filled with crap, widen the openings of the mesh with tin shears. If the soot or creosote level is high inside the fireplace, call a chimney sweep to clean it.
  6. It prevents access to the chimney from other sources of heat. The shot from the fireplace should only serve the fireplace.

Tips & Warnings:

  • On days when the air changes, the chimneys simply do not work well. These are the days when the high density air cleaner inside the hummer prevents proper air circulation. This situation often occurs when the temperature rises or cools quickly. Wait a few hours for the barometric pressure to stabilize, then try to use the fireplace again.