Fireplace odor in the house, please for my sanity help me!
Hello everyone, yes fireplace dilemma in the summer. First, let me say is has been extremely HUMID here in the Northeast. Here's the deal.
1) 2 story home
2) 1st floor has fireplace
3) 2nd floor bedroom has fireplace. This room is above the room with the other fireplace.
4) House has an oil burner.
5) All have their own flues, all in one chimney stack.
On these hot/humid days and other days for that matter, the house can smell like fireplace(sooty smell for the lack of better words). The first floor(den) we can deal with it. The 2nd. floor fireplace is in a bedroom, and it smells there also. So, flue closed, no good. Bought and installed a draft pillow, can still smell. Ok, so now I bought and installed a damper on the top of the chimney. Just went into the room and I thought I smelled something. So, I open the fireplace and it was pretty warm in the "firebox". Still smell in the firebox. Thoughts, advice? THANKS!
PS: Sorry for the long post!
Is there an ash cleanout that could be leaking odors in from the bottom?
Get a piece of foam insulation board and cut it to the opening and tape it in there sealing it up 100%?
Call a chimney sweep / expert to do a thorough cleaning.
First, thanks for the reply. I have a draft pillow in there which is sealing it up. Also, I had a sweep come in and do a cleaning. Not sure what is supposed to be performed during a sweep, but it didn't really help. Thanks!
EDIT: I'm pretty sure I have cleaned the ash clean out.
did they just clean it or did they inspect it? visably how does the chimney look? any cracks? does it have a chase built around it? how old is it?
Originally Posted by sandman512
do you have fresh air change? How much? Preferably make-up air to offset depresrurization by the clothes drier and other exhausts devices.
Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"
House is no doubt under negative pressure and drawing through the chimney. You need to have a professional come in and analyze the building envelope. Possibly a blower door test.
Do you have an attic fan? They can cause a negitive in the house.
I had a musty smell from our chimney, had the cement cap replaced with white portland cement, mixed with a little Thompsons water seal, cap. After about six weeks smell went away and never came back. BTW our fireplaces are rarely used, so we wouldn't have a sooty smell.
I only have to make it work till I retire.
Sorry for the delay, was on vacation with the family in Canada. Very nice there. Anyway, left the A/C on 85 while we were gone. Came home and there it was in my sons room, the sooty/humid smell. Now, this was after I installed the damper and the draft balloon. So, there it is. Once again, thanks much for the advice, THANKS!
There is a fan in the attic, it is a small one that came with the house.
Originally Posted by Todd S 2
Goes on when the temp., reaches a certain point.
What is a good way to locate a reputable professional chimney sweep. Unfortunately, where I live there are a lot of "fly by night" scammers here.
Originally Posted by phbsales
TB, not sure what you mean by fresh air exchange? Thanks!
Originally Posted by teddy bear
Do you have a crawl space with a gas line? Got a call some 25 years ago, I'll never forget. Lightening had struck their propane tank, the copper line in the crawl space split and ignited. It charred the wood, and put out soot that crept thru the floor boards. This had been going on for months. It was a miracle the whole place didn't go up.
I only have to make it work till I retire.
No crawl space here. No gas either.
Update. Went into the attic and and disconnected the attic fan(small attic exhaust fan). So far, problem solved. No more smell. Now, my big question, does it matter not having an attic fan? Thanks!
Good question. We always tell people they cause neg pressure and are bad for fireplaces, but I have yet to actually meet someone who has one. Where I live I don't think they are used at all.