Superior Chimney Services, Inc.

Summer Rain, High Humidity & the Smell of the Fireplace

This week was glorious! The kids are back in school and life can resemble normalcy again. chimTo get school started, parents get to visit the teachers. As I do every year, I park my car in a friend’s driveway and we walk together across the street to parent’s night. Afterwards, we head back to her home for a relaxing glass of wine. It’s become routine over the years.

There was a little extra something in the air this year….literally. As we sat on the couch, her house smelled a little off…okay, bad. I couldn’t make out the smell at first, then I realized she had the fireplace doors open. She decided to use the fireplace this past winter, and enjoyed it a lot. While she got up to get some snacks, I casually walked over to the fireplace to confirm my suspicions. Yup, I was right. It was the fireplace. Even though she doesn’t use it much, it stunk.


The creosote builds up in the chimney from burning wood in the fireplace. The odor gets more intense in the summer especially when the humidity is high. Living in Illinois there are a few days where the humidity is only 50%. Even with the air conditioning on, like she had, it doesn’t help. It still smelled.

What can she do to control the fireplace odor?

Here are a couple suggestions to stop and/or control the smell:
• Get a fireplace sweep ASAP!
• Add a tight sealing damper to the top of the chimney to reduce the air flow coming down the chimney.

There are a few other options like opening the window or using kitty litter in the fireplace, but that’s just a mess to clean and masking the odor. Just take care of it the right way so the fireplace stays a source of enjoyment for you, your family and friends to enjoy!

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