Dorset Chimney Sweep - Bournemouth, Poole, Wimborne Chimney Sweep Blandford Christchurch

The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust

The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust
Professional chimney sweep service for Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch & Dorset

Friday 15 February 2019

Help! My woodburner / Open Fire is smoking

There can be many reasons of wood burner / open-fire is pumping smoke in the room. One of the reasons main reasons could be that hasn't been swept recently and that the soot is restricting the air flow and updraft. If in doubt always book an experienced chimney sweep to inspect and sweep your chimney.

Other options that can affect updraught.
  • A bird nest which has blocked the chimney.
  • Cold snap in the Weather
  • Wind direction
  • Fuel quality e.g Wet wood
  • Poor installation
  • Air Vent/ blocked or No air vent in the room
  • Incorrect chimney pot cowl

woodburner Smoke in room openfire 02
woodburner Smoke in room openfire

How does cold weather affect the updraught in my chimney?
The flu may be cold and have what is known as a cold block. Some chimney stacks are more prone to getting a cold block, stacks on an outside wall or two skin solid flues that run up the outside of a property can sometimes have this issue too. One way to push the cold block out is to preheat the stove with an electric heater, blow torch or a hair dryer. This is to push the cold air out of the chimney stack which then tells the smoke which way to go as it follows the hot air. Alternatively a quick burst of heat can also do this so think about lighting a bundle firelighters before starting to build your fire.

How does the wind direction affect updraught in my chimney?
Wind direction can also play a big part in downdraft which may bring smoke into the room. Depending which way the wind is blowing, the wind can blow across the roof or across a neighboring building and blow down the chimney. There are cowls that can be installed on chimney pots to help combat this smoking issue.

How can wet wood affect updraught in my chimney stack?
Fuel can also play a big part in updraft. If your wood burner is not getting hot enough this can make a week updraught. Wet wood not only will tar up your chimney bit also burns at a lower temperature.The lower the temperature can sometimes mean a weaker the updraft.
Purchasing kiln-dried wood can improve the heat output of your fire which also encourages a better up draught.

How can a poor woodburner installation make smoke come into the room?
There is a science to creating a good updraught and if the installation has been installed incorrectly and not to building regulations there can be issues.

How can no air vent cause a smoking woodburner or openfire?
It is important to Ensure an air vent is installed and open as oxygen is key to a successful fire.

How can a cowl effect the updraught of a woodburner / openfire?
If the wrong cowl has been installed, this can restrict the size of where the smoke leaves the property. slowing down the smoke and causing issues.

Help! I've got an open fire with smoking issues
There are some other issues that may cause an open fire to smoke.If your fire opening is rather large, sometimes restricting the size of this opening can help. To test this use a sheet of metal and places across the top of your fires opening to see if this improves the updraft.

Another option is that your fire is too far away from the chimney flue by raising your fire basket on bricks that little bit closer to the flu may help encourage the smoke to go the right way.

Where you build your fire can also make a difference.Building your fire at the back of your fire box and close to the back wall can also improve updraft and then encouraged the smoke to go the right way.

Adding coal to your fire can also increase the fires temperature which in turn will make a better updraft..

Ensure your property has a air vent that is in the same room as you open fire oxygen is key to a successful fire triangle, the more oxygen there is to burn the hotter the fire, the better the updraft.

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Recommended article: Trouble lighting fire with an exposed external chimney?

This article was written by Jim Chim-in-ey

An insurance approved chimney sweep 

JC sweeps all open fires, wood burners and stoves.
Covering Bournemouth, Poole, Blandford Forum, Wimborne, Christchurch and Dorset.

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