Smoke gets in your eyes...

The Old House Web
Smoke comes out of stove while first starting up in cold weather.

fireplaceCause:Temperature differential between outdoors and indoors causing changes in airmovement in the house to equalize that of the outside pressure. The air in thehouse becomes buoyant, drawing air from the chimney (reverse chimney flow); ornot enough air to supply fire.

Solution: Opena window near the stove (easiest, safest). Provide a separate air inlet, or placea lighted newspaper in the stove pipe inlet.

Smoke comes out of stove or fireplace when it's windy.

Cause: Wind currents force airback down the chimney. Nearby trees, buildings in roof projections often cause
downdrafts during windy periods.

Solution: Check chimney for correctheight in relation to nearby objects. Remove nearby obstructions. Place a
chimney cap on chimney. If there is an existing cap, try a cap of differentdesign. Change chimney height.

Smoke continuously comes out of stove or fireplace.

Possible causes

  • Blocked flow of flue gases or flues partially filled with soot and creosote.
  • Flue may not be large enough to carry the smoke and gases outside
  • Green or wet wood can cause smoke since heat is used to dry the wood, also softwoods can cause smoke because of the resin in wood
  • Flue may be too large (in older houses which have a large central chimney with several fireplaces and flue openings, there may not be enough draft to keep the column of smoke rising if only one fireplace or stove is used)
  • Not enough air for efficient combustion
  • Cracks or leaks in flue lining.

Possible solutions

  • Check chimney for obstacles (bird-nests, branches, leaves, etc.).
  • Clean the chimney.
  • Install a large flue or attach a smaller appliance.
  • Keep hot fire going
  • Use seasoned dry wood or split the green wood smaller and mix it with dry wood.
  • Reduce the cross sectional area at the top of the chimney or install a stove pipe through the
    center of the chimney.
  • Provide a separate air inlet for wood burning appliances.
  • Check flue liners.
  • Install a smoke shelf in fireplace.
Smoke comes out of one fireplace while another wood stove or fireplace is in use.

Cause: Two wood burning appliancessharing the same flue may result in smoke traveling from one appliance toanother. If each appliance has a separate flue, there may be smoke leaking froman adjacent liner to the liner serving the other appliance. If the flue heightin adjacent liners is equal at the chimney cap, smoke can be pushed or suckeddown another liner.

Solution: Eitherdisconnect one appliance or plug the fireplace opening if two appliances aresharing same fireplace flue. Add a separate flue for each appliance. Checkfor breaks in adjoining flues or stagger flue joints. Change height of nearbyflues extending out the chimney.

This information comes fromMichigan State University Extension bulletin E-1389, Smoke Problems and TheirCures.

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