You are here:

Chimney & Fireplaces/smoke inside the house from the new chimney


QUESTION: Why am I getting smoke coming from the new double walled chimney close to the ceiling? I have a 2 year old airtight, and the chimney stack was changed about a month ago. The stove hasn't performed well since the new stack was installed. When I phoned the installer, he talked about air pressure, and told me to open a window! Sort of defeats the purpose of heating a building with a fireplace if you have to open a window in winter. I've heated with wood for 30 years, and I've never had this problem. Suggestions?

ANSWER: Hello Diane, when he talks about "opening a window" he means to get the stove going and when you add wood, why it is smoking since the "Stack was changed" I don't know but what could be happening is you are getting Negative Pressure in your home (house stack effect) that is hot air rising in your home (and getting out through the attic vents, doors, lights, another fireplace (is it closed?)) your house is a better chimney than your chimney. Also kitchen/bathroom exhaust fans, clothes dryers, Radon systems and the boiler/furnace all take house air out of the house (mechanical negative pressure) your house needs make up air, perhaps an open window in the basement? Or stop the air from getting out the attic and other area’s.
Trail and error until you get this fireplace to work for you, maybe close off the room from the rest of the house to use it (close doors)
Or it could be dirty? I would have a local Certified Chimney Sweep (, there you can look up by zip code to find one near you) take a first hand look at what you have.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There is no attic in this house, because it has a cathedral ceiling. The only thing that seems to have changed is the new chimney! The fireplace is in the main room, so no doors to close the room off. The furnace has it's own venting system for fresh air.
This new chimney didn't draw properly from the first day I used it. I called the installer then, and he suggested getting a hot fire going to draw.
What would a chimney sweep clean? It's a chimney that's only a few months old. The installer had me clean out the top of the stove where the chimney attaches, but suggested nothing else. Now he says I need to clean out the baffle. Why wouldn't this be done before a new chimney was installed?
I am putting an addition onto the house, but although the building shell has been built, the openings into both buildings have not been made yet. The new chimney was installed higher because the new roof is taller than the roof with the chimney.
The original chimney opening was much larger than the new opening. I'm not sure that there was much done to reduce this opening, prior to the new chimney being installed. Would this have any effect?
Since I've never had this issue before, I'm very disappointed and concerned about the amount of smoke that is coming from the area around the ceiling where the chimney exits the room and goes through the ceiling/roof line. I can't use the fireplace because of the amount of smoke produced.

Welcome back Diane, have you had a Certified Sweep take a look? I agree it sounds like the pipe is not connected properly if there is smoke coming out at the ceiling, was the pipe down sized? you may need to do a video scan of the inside of the new chimney (pipe) it may have come apart.
as far as the sweep that did the work maybe report him to the BBB, and Angie's list (cost $40 but worth it if you trash this guy if he indeed had a pipe come apart) and there is always Small Claims Court and your local building department.
Feel free to contact me again if you have any other questions and please keep me posted, I would be curious to find out what happened.

Chimney & Fireplaces

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


James Ball


I am a chimney sweep with over 22 years of experience, CSIA certified and member of the NCSG, I can answer questions about smoky fire places, wood stoves, and heating units (boiler and furnace chimneys) do you need a relining? A cap? And much more


over 22 years

Chimney Safety Institute of America, National Chimney Sweep Guild

CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified

©2017 All rights reserved.