A fireplace is an inviting fixture in a room, but when it blows black smoke, it becomes a health and fire hazard. Multiple factors can cause a fireplace to smoke. While some problems are quick fixes, others may require assistance from a professional chimney service.


  • A fireplace is a simple apparatus that relies on wood, air and ventilation. When there is a blockage in the ventilation, the chimney can back up and disperse black smoke into the room. A partial or full blockage of the flue is the most common ventilation block issue. This can happen from debris, buildup or a broken flue.

       Dirty Chimney

    • Soot gradually accumulates inside a chimney from burning wood. When poor quality wood is burned, creosote and soot can build up inside the chimney causing it to vent improperly. If the chimney is dirty, black smoke will be present the entire time it is in operation rather than just at the start or end of a fire.

      Smoke Chamber

      • The smoke chamber of a fireplace sits above the damper. This triangular section of the chimney sends smoke up into the flue liner. Oversized smoke chambers can catch a breeze from outside, which pushes smoke back down the chimney. A small smoke chamber can also cause issues. A small smoke chamber can cause smoke to curl and build up at the top of the smoke chamber, and the smoke will eventually work its way back down through the fireplace.

      Fireplace Doors

      • Fireplaces have tempered glass doors that help retain heat and prevent smoke from entering the home. When grates or fireplace doors are too close to the fire, they can start to melt or heat to the point of smoking.

      Wood Quality

      • Use seasoned and treated wood to prevent soot and creosote from building up in the chimney. When wet, diseased or rotting wood burns in a fireplace, it can smoke heavily and will continue to do so until the bad wood has burned off.

        If you are in any doubt then call Alfred Poppins Chimney Sweeping and we will be more than happy to help.