What’s That Smell?

Some households are plagued by a persistently smelly fireplace. The heavy odor of smoke and creosote hangs in the air on hot, humid days and can really drive some people crazy. Here we will look into common causes of this and what you can do to help the situation.

Fireplace odor usually occurs due to a flow reversal in the fireplace flue – rather than air going up the chimney and out air is coming down the chimney, picking up the odor, and moving into the living area of the home. This can occur when other appliances such as draft hoods, dryers, bathroom fans, and such are turned on in unusually tight construction. The house is so tightly built that air is pulled down the chimney and in to replace the air that is being removed.

Another reason for a flow reversal to occur is what’s known as the stack effect. In older and/or poorly insulated homes the house structure itself acts as a better chimney than the chimney. Air wants to rise up the staircase and out the upstairs windows or attic rather than going up and out the chimney. Because of this massive movement of air, replacement air is pulled in and down the chimney and into the home. This is very common for an older fireplace on a lower level or basement of a house. You can test this by cracking a window in the same room as the fireplace and seeing if the problem subsides.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help eliminate smelly chimneys.

First, have the fireplace cleaned to remove the bulk of the creosote and soot. Reasons for this should be obvious.
Second, have a good quality top sealing damper installed and ditch that conventional damper. A top sealing damper will completely seal the top of the flue and physically block any air movement into the chimney.

Third, and in cases of stack effect reversal, look into having a passive air inlet or outside air intake installed.

There are chimney deodorizers available and an open box of baking soda is sometimes effective.

And if all else fails, just light lots of incense.

Enjoy your day!

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)