Smoke problems: Is your damper open? If it is and the smoking continues, open a nearby window a crack for a minute or two until the fire is going well – then you can close it again. If it just smokes when you light the fire, it may be because the flue is cold. Did you warm the flue with a burning rolled-up newspaper held in the damper region? (If not, that usually works.) If the chimney continues to smoke, call a chimney professional. Your chimney may be clogged by animal nests or an accumulation of soot and creosote, or it may have additional problems. Chimney odors The sour, sickly odor is the smell of creosote. The solution is to call a chimney professional to clean your chimney and install a chimney cap to prevent water from entering and reacting with the creosote. Your chimney professional can also recommend a good chimney deodorant to handle any remaining odor which has been absorbed into the masonry.
Creosote buildup Slow smoldering fires and/or the use of unseasoned wood can create “cool” smoke and weak draft. Under these conditions the smoke condenses and sticks to the chimney’s interior. Forming highly flammable creosote. Read our section on “Efficient Burning Techniques” for the solution of this problem.