What Is That Smell? And Other Draft-Related Chimney Issues

The experts at Top Hat Chimney Sweeps have been providing chimney troubleshooting help to East Central Alabama and West Central Georgia for decades. Over the years, we’ve seen many cases in which smells and drafting problems are related, and no matter how beautiful your hearth looks, if it’s inefficient and putrid, you certainly won’t be able to enjoy it. Here are some of the most common causes of odors and drafting problems:

  • Dead/Trapped Animals – Odors within the chimney are often due to animals. You see – your chimney is a pretty appealing place for an animal looking to make a nest. But unfortunately, these animals bring flammable nesting materials, disease-ridden fecal matter, odors, noise, and sometimes, they even get trapped and die, creating even more odor. And not only do these animals bring odor and disease, their nesting materials are a fire hazard and can cause serious flue blockages and draft problems. If you are missing a chimney cap or haven’t had a recent chimney inspection or sweeping, there’s a good chance that this is what’s causing your odor or drafting problems.
  • Chimney Height – If your chimney isn’t the highest thing around, you could experience down drafts and other draft-related issues. If this is the cause of your draft issues, it’s possible we can extend your chimney so that this is no longer an issue.
  • Creosote – Here at Top Hat Chimney Sweeps, we always recommend having your chimney swept at the end of each burn season. Why? Because creosote (a byproduct of combustion) can build up in your flue walls, and once the heat of spring and summer are added into the mix, you’ve got yourself an odor problem.
  • Inadequate Air Supply – Inadequate air supply can be the cause of draft problems, and is especially common in newer homes. If your fireplace has to compete with other appliances (like bathroom fans, kitchen fans, clothes dryers, etc.) for a small amount of air, many times the fireplace will lose the battle. The result? An inefficient fireplace and excess smoke in your air supply.

We’ll Find The Source Of Your Problem & Take Care Of It!

If you’ve noticed odd smells, downdrafts or other problems with your chimney system, be sure to give Top Hat Chimney Sweeps a call! Our experts can evaluate and troubleshoot your system, making recommendations for how to restore it to its optimal state. Call 334-749-3559 or click here!


Do you have a smoking chimney? Let us troubleshoot the problem and provide the best solution for your situation today.

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