How to Prevent a Smoky House When Your Fireplace is Lit

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • January 31, 2017

Tips For A Smoke-Free House

Having a fireplace burning this time of the year is amazing. It’s warm and scenic, cozy and seasonal¬É until your house becomes a smoke box and you can’t figure out why.

This fear of ‘smoky-house’ might even prevent you from ever lighting your fireplace. Which is what we’re here for today. Preventing and solving your smoky-house with a couple of our favorite tips:

1. Open the Damper

The damper is a hinged metal plate that is usually inside the fireplace where it joins the chimney. Think of it like a window – many people close it in the summer to prevent cold air from escaping, and in winter to prevent cold air from entering the room via the chimney. However, when a fire is lit, the damper should be open to allow an outlet for smoke.

2. Crack a Nearby Window

Like we said above, the damper is like a window used as an outlet for the smoke; however, if it is not doing its job (or your heating and air is pulling the smoke indoors), alternate outlets might be necessary. Crack a window closest to the fireplace for an additional smoke solution.

3. Only Use Dry (Seasoned) Wood

You can’t just put any type of wood in a fireplace and expect the same results. Damp wood burns differently than dry wood and could be a major reason your fireplace get smoky. The best dry, seasoned wood often is bought locally, but you can look at your closest home improvement store as well.

4. Build Your Fire Upside Down

For a clean-burning fire, consider building an ‘upside down’ fire. Unlike traditional fire lays that require you to put smaller sticks at the bottom and larger fuel logs on the top, the upside down fire lay reverses the sequence.

Instead, stack large fuel logs on the bottom of the fire grate and smaller logs on top. Add a kindling layer (small twigs about the size of your pinky or bigger) on top of the stack and then top off the stack with some sheets of newspaper.

Because smoke won’t have to pass through the cold logs, the fire will burn cleaner. What’s nice about this arrangement, too, is that you don’t have to do much to keep it going.

We hope these tips were helpful in preventing your smokey house! Your safety is our number one concern.

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