Certain things in life are inevitable: death, taxes, telemarketers calling at the most inopportune time, and smelly chimneys during the summertime are a few that immediately come to mind. Fortunately for all of us, there are ways to address the majority of these issues (although no one has quite figured out how to avoid death just yet). Nevertheless, let’s spend some time today discussing why it is that your chimney is especially funky during the summer and what you can have done to remedy the situation.
Why Is It That My Chimney Only Smells Bad During the Summer?
Believe it or not, your chimney always has this very distinct odor inside it. You don’t notice it during the heating season because your fireplace is in use and the draft inside your chimney is taking the smell up and out, preventing it from offending your olfactory system. You may begin to notice a slight smell during the spring as you decrease your usage of the fireplace (although we know there are some cooler spring nights when you can’t resist the urge to build a little fire). During the summer, however, you have no need whatsoever to use your fireplace.
Some homeowners think that simply closing their throat damper will eliminate the smell and are flabbergasted when this isn’t successful. Unfortunately, the metal-to-metal closure of traditional throat dampers isn’t as effective at sealing tightly, allowing some of that stale chimney air to creep into the home. That smell is like a heat-seeking missile, searching out each and every nostril in the house. Yuck! You can’t help but recoil in disgust when that unpleasant aroma is around.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Get Rid of This Smell?
Yes, there is! Many companies began offering fireplace deodorizers in an attempt to dupe unsuspecting homeowners into throwing their money away. These products may make your home smell a little better, but they’re only masking the bigger problem: the creosote inside your chimney. It quite literally seeps into the brickwork inside your chimney. As such, 100% of the smell inside your chimney can never be eliminated. However, a thorough chimney sweeping on an annual basis can help to limit the amount of additional odor that’s allowed to accumulate inside your masonry, as it will remove any potential odor-causing creosote from your chimney’s liner.
If you’re looking for a way to keep even more of your chimney’s natural aroma from entering your living space, you may want to also consider investing in a top-mount damper. This will help to seal your damper from above and prevent any outside air from being forced down your flue and into your home (bringing with it that smell that we all love so much).
The best way to avoid the offending odors during the summer would be to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by the certified pros at SirVent Chimney & Venting Service as soon as the heating season has ended and then immediately close your top-mount damper until the next heating season rolls around. You can schedule an appointment with one of our chimney pros by calling or clicking here.