381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Tues. - Thur. 9am to 3pm / Fri. 9am to 12pm (or by appt.) / Sat. - Mon. Closed

Our Company Blog

What is the Real Problem with Wood Smoke?

Fires produce smoke, right? Every fire will produce a little smoke when it is first lit. A little smoke pushing into the home while a fire is burning is normal. Wood smoke is natural. It only bothers people with asthma. This is all accurate in some ways, but there is more to it. At Beach Stove & Fireplace, we want to help you understand all the problems of wood smoke and why it is not good for you or your home.

The Type of Wood You Burn and Smoke

Your wood fireplace produces wood smoke naturally when you burn wood. It produces more or less smoke depending on the type of wood you burn. The amount of water or other debris on the wood and the efficiency of the chimney system all affect the wood you burn. It is okay to burn wood in your fireplace, but only the right wood, and when the system is working properly.

There is never a time when smoke should push into your living space. When that happens, the system isn’t working properly. Inhaling smoke can cause respiratory problems, dangerous allergic reactions, bothersome allergies, unwelcome odors, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Over 50 percent of fire-related deaths occur because of smoke inhalation. While your fireplace should not produce enough smoke to result in death, it should not be putting any smoke into your home.

Causes of Smoky Fires

Improper Wood – The only thing that should be burned in a wood fireplace is properly seasoned firewood. This is wood that has been cut to length and stored to dry for 3-6 months. Wood that has more than 20 percent moisture content will burn incompletely. This results in a waste of wood to reach the desired temperature, more smoke and air pollution, more ash, creosote, and soot.
Damage or Debris – If your chimney system has damage that is obstructing or complicating airflow, the smoke will not rise up the flue as it should. The flue is designed to provide a smooth outlet for the exhaust to rise up the chimney and out. Cracks, gaps, and debris may slow or obstruct airflow altogether, resulting in a smoky fireplace.
Competing Drafts – The chimney depends on a draft to work properly. The heat from the fire helps the smoke and particulate pollution to rise up the flue, but the air that is drawn from the home must be replaced. If the house is too tight or if other large appliances are using air in a similar way, the chimney may not have the necessary draft to vent the fire. Try cracking a window or shutting off other appliances while the fire burns.
Flue Improperly Sized – The flue is at a specific length and diameter to best vent your fireplace. This is based on the capacity of your unit or the size of your firebox. If the flue liner has an improper installation or if the chimney is too tall or wide, the smoke will not rise completely out of the flue and will likely push into the house. You should hire a professional to assess it, as they can make necessary repairs or reline the flue.

There is never a time when your fire should push smoke into the home. When lighting a fire in a cold fireplace, you can avoid a smoky start by priming the flue. If you still experience smoke in your fireplace, it’s time to call a professional. You can reach a fire expert at Beach Stove and Fireplace by calling 631-998-0780 or stopping by.

By Julie Dismore on July 10th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on What is the Real Problem with Wood Smoke?

Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)