What To Do About a Smoky Fireplace

Elite Chimney Solutions is a chimney sweep company serving the towns of Johnston, Cranston, Pawtucket, Cumberland, Lincoln, and Smithfield, Barrington, Bristol, Burrillville, Glocester, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Lincoln, Middletown, Narragansett, North Kingstown, North Providence, Portsmouth, Richmond, Scituate, Warren, Westerly and West Greenwich.

We specialize in chimney cleaning, chimney repair, chimney inspection, and fireplace repair/installation. As the chimney height increases, the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the chimney decreases. This is because the buoyant effect of the flue gases increase as you go higher in the chimney. If you notice smoke seeping into your home when you get cozy by the fire - you may have a drafting issue. Although chimney drafting is largely dependent on chimney height and wall thickness, there are a number of other factors that affect the ability of a chimney to draft properly:

Clogs or blockages

Clogs and blockages in chimneys happen when the flue liner is too small for the firebox opening. Clogs and blockages occur in chimneys when creosote and soot builds up on the walls of the chimney or when flue gas condensation falls back down into the chimney and settles on the walls. Blockages can stop your fireplace from working correctly and they can even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.


A chimney is like a straw. Without proper airflow, the flames can’t get enough oxygen through the flue and the fire will burn inefficiently or stop burning altogether. This is why it’s so important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. A firebox is the part of your fireplace where the fuel is burnt. The size, shape and material of your firebox will affect how your chimney drafts. Fireboxes need to be large enough to allow maximum air flow into the chimney. If your firebox is too small, it will restrict air flow and cause problems with drafting.

Warwick RI Firebox Repair

Chimney Design

There are three types of fireboxes: fireplace fireboxes, zero-clearance fireboxes, and masonry fireboxes. The purpose of the flue and the firebox is to create draft. Chimney draft is the speed of air flow through a flue. It is affected by the chimney height, diameter, and its shape. Chimney draft is important for two reasons. First, it allows air to flow up the flue, which prevents dangerous back-pressure from building up inside the chimney. A well-designed chimney has good drafting while an improperly designed chimney, or one that is blocked or full of soot, will have poor drafting. Chimney designs vary based on the type of fuel being burned. For example, a masonry chimney is designed to handle high heat and the production of creosote. A pre-fabricated steel chimney is designed to prevent rusting and corrosion, which is why it has a galvanized coating.


Chimney Caps

Chimney caps can improve the draft of your fireplace by up to 20%. This is because they seal gaps in the chimney and prevent warm air from escaping out of the top of the chimney. Chimney caps also stop birds and animals from nesting in the top of the chimney and can prevent rain water from entering the chimney.

Creosote or Soot

Creosote is a flammable, oily, tar-like substance that forms on the inside of chimneys if they’re not properly vented. Creosote can also affect the draft in your fireplace. This substance is created as a by-product of burning wood. Over time, it builds up inside the chimney and can cause a lot of problems. If a chimney is not properly vented, the creosote can eventually block the chimney. If you live in RI, it’s crucial that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a pro like Elite Chimney Solutions every year or so, to make sure it’s working properly.

The Value of Exhaust Systems - We’re a Big Fan (Get it?)

Exhaust Fan Systems are used in many modern-day homes in order to help remove the products of combustion from a fireplace, wood stove, or any other type of gas or wood burning appliance. They work by pulling air from the bottom of the firebox and creating a draft that pulls smoke and heat up and out through the chimney. Chimneys have to be designed to take into account the exhaust fan and its motor. As the motor operates, it generates heat. If that heat is not removed from the flue pipe, then it will increase the temperature of the gases inside your chimney, which reduces the amount of draft available. This can also be dangerous! Elite Chimney Solutions is a chimney sweep company that specializes in chimney drafting solutions, chimney cleaning, chimney and fireplace restoration, fireplace repair, chimney cleaning and chimney replacement. Call us today for your free consultation! (844) 354-8385