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Frequently asked questions about chimneys and fireplaces

Knowledge is power when it comes to opperating your fireplace, wood or gas applainces with safety as the number one goal!  Here we will try to answer most of the questions that we frequently get asked.  We will try to answer these questions in insightfully and completely as we can.  We will also try to use video clips and diagrams to help make our answers as helpful as possible.  If you don't see an answer to a question you would like answered and we will add it to our page.

Why do I get smoke downstairs when I use my fireplace on the main floor? I get this question several times a week during the heating season.  This can make it unpleasant or even impossible to enjoy your fireplace.  This can even cause a major safety concern.  The most likely cause for this problem is your fireplace needs lots of air to operate.  Your fireplace will try to get that make up air from the easiest place it can get it.  Sometimes it is through the flue of another fireplace or your furnace flue.  When your fireplace is draftign air  back though the other flues of your chimney it can return smoke or even carbon monoxide from your furnace or water heater back into your home.  Follow this link to hear a very good video presentation from Jerry Isenour.  Jerry is a leader in the chimney industry, President of the Chimney National Safety Institute.