Having a fireplace in your house is an excellent way to instantly have it feel like a cozy and welcoming home, perfect for long cold winters and for having the family gather around the warmth together.
The problem with fireplaces is that they require some amount of effort and upkeep, and sometimes, they can leave behind the smell of smoke, soot, and ashes. And having your entire living room and house smell of fireplace...is less than ideal. Especially because these smells can linger on clothing and other items causing you to constantly smell of bonfire night.
Thankfully, there are different ways in which you can fight off the smell of a fireplace, or neutralize it. And as a general rule, fireplaces that are in good condition should not be leaving behind any strong odors or smells, so if your fireplace has a strong smoky smell, it might be an indication of something being wrong.
Let’s get right into the issue.
What does it mean if your fireplace smells strongly of smoke?
If your fireplace is excessively smoky when the fire is going, or if it still smells of smoke once the fire has been put out, it could be a sign of something being wrong.
As an average rule, a fireplace should not smell or fill the room with smoke, so this is something you should get fixed immediately. Plus, you should probably refrain from using the fire until the issue has been solved. After all, too much smoke can be damaging to your health, so the smell of smoke will end up being the least of your problems.
Here are a few things that could be wrong if your fireplace is giving off an excessive smoky smell:
A dirty chimney:
Dirt will slowly accumulate in your chimney throughout the years it is in use, and this dirt can eventually begin to build up around the chimney, which can end up causing some sort of a blockage. This will then cause smoke to be unable to exit through the chimney as smoothly, so some of the smoke might be going back into the living room, filling your house with the smoky smell.
The dirt can also in itself give off a strong fireplace odor of smoke, soot, and ashes, every single time it is being heated up by a new fire. So essentially, a dirty chimney is a constant source of smell and problems.
The solution to this problem is to thoroughly clean the chimney out. This should only need doing once every few years or so, and there are specialized services that can come over and clean your chimney for you, as they will have all of the right tools, products, and techniques.
Your chimney is having problems drafting:
Fireplace drafting is essentially how well your fireplace is able to displace the products of the ongoing fire, through the chimney, and out into the atmosphere, outside of the house. This majorly includes smoke, as well as ash and soot.
If your chimney is having a problem drafting, then it means that it is unable to properly push the smoke out through the chimney, and it could mean that air is being pulled back in through the chimney, which traps the smoke and its smell inside of the house.
Problems with drafting can happen for many different reasons. It could be due to an air pressure imbalance within the house, or due to a build-up of dirt within the chimney, or due to a structural problem that renders the chimney ineffective.
The solution to this problem is to figure out the root and cause of the bad drafting and to put a stop to it. This might include cleaning the chimney out, or even asking for an expert to take a look at the chimney to assess and provide a solution.
Other structural issues:
There are a number of other structural issues that your chimney can have, especially if it’s quite old or hasn’t been used for quite some time. In fact, if your chimney has been out of use for a few years, it is recommended that you give it a check-over before starting a new fire.
But essentially, if smoke is filling the room, or the room is getting the excessive lingering smell of smoke after the fire has been put out, then something is wrong and needs fixing.
How do you get rid of the fireplace smoke smell?
If your house starts smelling of fireplace smoke, you are going to want to quickly get rid of that smell, before it becomes unbearable. Here are a few things that you can do in order to get rid of the smoky fireplace smell:
Clean or/and repair the chimney:
In most cases, the smell of smoke is due to an issue with the chimney, whether it’s structural or a buildup of dirt. So in order to fully remove the smell, you need to go straight to the source of it and remove it from the equation.
Use a fireplace deodorant:
Fireplace deodorants are designed to get rid of the lingering smell of smoke and soot that can cling to the fireplace, even after the source of smell has been removed. They are super easy to use and they will provide you with a few months of freshness, on average.
The holy grail of DIY solutions, vinegar can also be used to get rid of the lingering smell of smoke and soot from a fireplace. Just leave some bowls of vinegar around, to absorb the smell, or spray a mixture of vinegar and water around the fireplace.
Charcoal is highly effective at absorbing strong odors and smells. A good solution is to place a bucket of charcoal, along with some damp pieces of newspaper, inside the fireplace. The smell will be gone in no time!
Use an air purifier:
Air purifiers can remove odors from the air inside a room, and they will also clean the air so that you aren’t breathing in any traces of smoke or soot, which could be harmful to your health.