Fireplace smoking back explained – Video Transcript

(edited for greater clarity)

Reasons Why Fireplace Smoke Back Happens

Lee Pearce:Why does your fireplace smoke back when you use it? There are many different reasons. It could be something as easy as a blocked flue. It could be blocked with a birds nest, it could be blocked with soot or creosote. It could be the design of the chimney; it could be because the chimney is too cold.

More Potential Fireplace Smoke Back Reasons

It could be because the chimney is too short, it doesn’t terminate in the right area in relation to where your roof is – that’s clearly defined in building regulations to say minimum heights and distances from roof spaces. But obviously customers are not aware of that, so that’s the first thing I’d usually check.

It could be ventilation, it could be something like an extractor fan running in a different room, which is actually sucking the smoke back down the chimney. It could be a taller tree next to a chimney pot which is causing down draught. Or it could be a block of flats down the road – a 20-story block of flats could affect how a chimney works in a two story house.

Fireplace smoke back explained by Apex Chimney Sweeps London

Other Sources of Fireplace Smoke Back Problems

If you live in a valley, that can cause problems. And if the air on certain days – on cold, damp, foggy days, or days where we get snow and the air is very still, lots of people suffer down draught on their chimneys. When they light the fires, the smoke just comes back. That usually means that the chimney needs to be pre-warmed before you light the fire, and that would overcome the down draught.

We can test for down draught and work out what the problem is. 

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