Q&A House smells of smoke/creosote

QandA Posted By QandA, Oct 5, 2001 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    Great site!!! I have been reading some of the questions regarding this problem, but most seem different than the problem we are having. We have a new woodstove in basement with a 6.5"x8" brick chimney(2 storey house). The problem is that the house smells of smoke/creosote when ever we do not use the stove. Also, we can feel a cold back draft in the clean-out area. We dont have to much problems with smoke when starting a fire . Another problem is that sometimes we have condensation in the clean-out area. Could this be due to damp wood? Our chimney conforms to city regulations(10' from roof), but it does not extend above the highest point of the roof. I have heard that making the chimney the highest will resolve some problems. Is this true?


    If you have a smell, then your chimney probably downdrafts (reverses) when it's not in use. There is no easy solution to this problem. Installing a chimney cap may help a bit with the smell and condensation. It is very unlikely that adding a few feet will eliminate the problem since it's also related to air currents and pressures within the home.

    The chimney should have a terra-cotta liner in it, not just brick. Even seasoned wood is 25% moisture, so there is always a lot of condensation going up the chimney. The key is that this moisture usually goes out the flue before it condenses. There are some suggestions in the chimney articles at https://www.hearth.com/what/specific.html - you may have to line it with a stainless steel liner in order to completely solve this problem.
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