Your chimney might sit unused during the warm summer months, but warmer temperatures can bring an unpleasant surprise from your flue: Chimney odors. There are several causes of chimney odors, and nearly all of those causes are intensified when the weather — and the air in your chimney — heats up. If the air in your home is less than fresh due to odors from your chimney, you’re likely eager to get rid of that smell. Here are several ways you can get rid of chimney odors.

Have your chimney swept

Many homeowners wait until the fall, until they’re ready to use their chimney again, to schedule their annual chimney sweeping. When it comes to preventing chimney odors from filling your home, that can backfire. Debris in your chimney, whether it’s creosote, twigs and leaves or animal remains or droppings, can generate smells when exposed to summer’s heat and humidity. By scheduling your annual chimney sweeping during the spring instead of the fall, you can save yourself from the frustration and embarrassment of chimney odors.

Address chimney leaks, and consider waterproofing

Moisture can be a major culprit when it comes to chimney odors. Whether water is making its way in through a crack or seeping in through your chimney’s masonry, it can make your chimney, and your home, stink. The moisture on its own can cause a musty or moldy smell, or it can exacerbate the smells generated by creosote or debris within the chimney. Alleviate chimney odors by having any leaks, no matter how minor, repaired. You also can consider having a waterproofing solution applied to your chimney to keep water from finding its way in through the masonry and causing damage or odors.

Install a top-sealing damper

If odors from your chimney are permeating your home, it means that air must be traveling down your chimney and back into your home. This backward chimney draft can be stopped with a top-sealing chimney damper. While any damper should keep air from traveling down your chimney and into your home, traditional throat dampers eventually fail and allow air to bypass the seal and enter your home. A top-sealing damper provides a tight seal to the top of your chimney’s flue, effectively keeping air from traveling down your chimney.

Consider your chimney’s draft

If your chimney’s draft is a regular problem, it might be time to consult a professional to consider the problem. Air should only travel through your fireplace and up and out of your chimney. If your chimney is drafting improperly, in addition to odors, you might notice smoke finds its way into your home when the fireplace is in use. The solution might be as simple as being mindful of the vented appliances that are operating near your hearth or cracking opening a window in your home. It might take some alterations to your chimney liner. A certified professional can help you find the best way to correct your chimney draft to keep odors out.

If you are plagued with chimney odors in the summer heat, Total Chimney Care can help — whether it’s with a cleaning, chimney repairs, waterproofing, installing a top-sealing damper or addressing an improper chimney draft. Don’t suffer with foul chimney odors all summer; call or go online to schedule your appointment today!