When burning a fire, the last thing you want is smoke or the smell of smoke. The bottom line is that if your fireplace were working, as it should, these problems would be eliminated. As you will discover in this article, you have a number of options to reduce or completely, cut out the smell of smoke or actual smoke filtering into the home, which is dangerous.
Depending on your home, some will actually act like a chimney. For instance, if you live in a multi-story home, it naturally produces a stack effect more than a ranch style home. In addition, if your home has the majority of windows on the upper levels, you would again see more of a stack effect due to leaks providing a way or path for warm air to escape very much like that of a chimney top. Then, if your chimney were attached to an outer wall or connected to any heating appliance on the lower basement level, you might experience a back draft, which means cold outside air or even smoke is allowed inside.
As you can imagine, dealing with a stack effect is bothersome. However, if you have an appliance that uses the outside chimney for a portion of the home being single story, then the problem is magnified. Keep in mind that when you are not burning a fire, your chimney is not capable of producing the required standby draft, again creating the stack effect due to a cold and short chimney. In this case or the case of the outside chimney, being installed in the basement is sure to cause smoke problems.
Another time when you might expect to see the stack effect is when a chimney goes through a house and then exiting, as well as one located close to the peak of the room. The problem here is that the chimney produces a much more powerful draft. Remember, the stack effect is a common thing with any home but if not controlled, you would see smoke. Therefore, placing the chimney inside the home or at a location where it could penetrate the room by the peak will help.
Another problem with smoke is called the cold back draft-at-standby syndrome. In this case, negative pressure develops in the home. When this happens, a strong fan effect is created. Therefore, if you were to start a fire with kindling and then you open the door to stoke it, chances are you would feel a strong, cold blast of air, followed by smoke flowing inside rather than outside through the chimney.
The key to eliminating this problem to avoid smoke is to make sure a basement stove is never used with an outside chimney. The better solution would be to use a wood-burning stove on the home's main floor. In addition, you would enjoy much better heat! If you are unsure how to correct your problem, you can always check with a professional from your local fireplace store.