Why Does My Chimney Smell?

Homeowners will occasionally call in inquiring about smells coming from their chimney. The chimney is designed and constructed to pull air up and out, however, there are a few common reasons you may be experiencing what industry professionals refer to as a drafting issue – when air is coming back in through the chimney.

It is extremely important to have any drafting issues addressed, causing a chimney smell, as the fireplace is often not the only component of a home which uses the chimney. Other heat systems such as the furnace and water-heater, are also exhausted through the chimney, which means if the air is coming back down the chimney rather than out, the natural gases from those systems may be as well.

Causes of Drafting Issues Causing Chimney Smell:

Issue: Build-up of creosote or soot in the chimney’s flue system can cause a down draft in the chimney.

Solution: Chimney Sweep and Inspection


Issue: Holes in the chimney’s flue system (between flue-tiles or throughout the liner).

Solution: Assessment of the Flue System, just as tiles or liners.


Issue: Missing Rain-Caps

Solution: Assessment and Rain-Cap installation


Issue: Large trees directly above the flue or top of the chimney

Solution: Assessment & Trimming of Trees


Issue: Wind circulating from larger homes or trees that surround your home (Nashville mountains and peaks can also be a contributing factor).

Solution: Assessment of the height of the flue


It’s really not ideal to be having a down-draft coming from your chimney, so take a quick smell of the rooms in which fireplaces are located. If there is a chimney smell, usually smokey, we can help. Call us at 317.500.1250 for a maintenance check-up or request an appointment today!