Smoke smell while not burning

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New Member
Jun 28, 2023
Hello there,

Looking for advice to stop the smell of smoke inside the home while not burning

We recently had a Lopi medium flush wood insert installed in a open brick fireplace built in 1969. We had the chimney cleaned many years ago by a sweep and then only ever had a handful of fires in the fireplace before sealing it off top and bottom for the past 10 years. Even painted the inside of the fireplace box with high temp heat many years ago for aesthetics.

The new Lopi is installed on the main floor of a ranch style home on an exterior wall. We have a new 15' liner connected thru the old smoke shelf with a block off plate installed just above the insert. Our main issue is the smell of smoke coming in between the insert and the old fireplace. I have even put some rock wool insulation in the gap between the bricks and insert. I also scrubbed the inside of the brick in the old fireplace and got a lot of old build up off before we had the insert installed, but it stilled smelled.

Is there any type of barrier to put in the small gap between the insert and the bricks that would withstand the heat and also be hidden by the surround on the insert? Please let me know your thoughts.

Anybody have any advice?

Any insight would be appreciated. I spent a bunch of time on the forums researching before we made our purchase and the information on here was extremely helpful.
Reverse stack effect in summer. Cold air leaves house and is replaced by air moving down the chimney. Sun heats the chimney and the old deposits start to stink. Air sealing the chimney top cap as best one can and air sealing the block off plate are the best options. Was the flue cleaned well before installing the liner?
If it's an exterior chimney and is pretty much sealed you might be getting condensation build up which smells. My chimney stunk to high heaven after I sealed it.
I knocked out a brick on the back and inserted a vent so that the air and moisture could escape. I may well add another one closer to the top of the chimney for a more effective flow of air.
You could add a vent above the block off plate.
This procedure would be easily reversible if anyone decided to use the fireplace again in future
i get some smell during the summer when it rains or humidity is really high. not enough to cause concern though.
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