Smoky Fireplace Solutions

It’s no fun to have your fireplace send smoke into your home. Smoke is bad enough, but the carbon monoxide that’s present in smoke makes the problem not only irritating but also potentially dangerous. We can help with smoky fireplace solutions.

smoky fireplace solutions in Oceanside CA and Coronado CAChimney Sweep Inc., of Lakeside, CA, has solved numerous smoky fireplace issues over the last 30+ years. Sometimes, the problem can be reversed by the homeowner; other times, you need help from a certified chimney company.

Fireplace Drafting 101

Chimneys are designed to channel smoke and combustion gases from your fireplace to the outside air. When everything is working as it should, smoke will rise with the help of a gentle push of air from inside the home.

Problems happen when something prevents the smoke from rising. It’s more common than you might think.

Here are some possible causes of a smoky fireplace and our suggestions on how to address them.

Creosote Obstructions

Built-up creosote and soot, along with leaves, twigs and other outside debris, will restrict the flue passage and may cause smoke issues.


Have your chimney professionally cleaned. Install a chimney cap, or repair the one you have.

Animal Obstructions

Birds, squirrels, rodents and other small animals often build nests in chimneys. This material creates a drafting obstruction. Occasionally, animals die inside the chimney, adding to the trouble.


Have your chimney professionally cleaned. Install a chimney cap, or repair the one you have.

Incorrect Flue Size

A chimney that was built too short or too narrow will not draft efficiently.


Have your chimney inspected. Some structural modifications or rebuilding may be necessary.

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Damper Closed

You’d be surprised how many times people forget to open the fireplace damper before starting a fire.


Open the damper; ensure that the damper is working as it should and isn’t rusted or broken.

Air Blockage

Cold air is heavier than warm air. If the air inside the flue is particularly cold, warm smoke will have trouble moving past it.


Hold a lit, rolled-up newspaper or blow-dryer up into the flue for a short time to warm the air before starting a fire.

Reverse Air-flow

As we mentioned above, chimney drafting requires a little air from the house to move smoke up the flue. Certain types of heating systems as well as exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and other places may be causing the smoky fireplace problem.


Turn off the systems and fans.

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Solving Your Smokey Fireplace Issue

As you can see, some of the things that cause a smoky fireplace can be addressed fairly simply by you. Other issues need solutions from a professional service.

Chimney Sweeping in Southern California

If you’re having trouble with smoke from your fireplace, Chimney Sweeps Inc. is here to help.

We’re your local chimney experts in Lakeside CA, Oceanside CA, and the greater San Diego CA, area. We serve Coronado CA, Escondido CA, La Mesa CA, and San Clemente CA, along with North Park CA, Alpine CA, Solana Beach CA, and other communities throughout East San Diego County.

Speak with a chimney and fireplace expert today at (619) 593-4020 or request an appointment online here.