Why Does Smoke Come Out of My Fireplace? Reasons & Fixes

Why Does Smoke Come Out of My Fireplace

Have you ever sat by the fireplace, expecting warmth and crackling sounds, but instead got surprised by smoke filling the room? Are you wondering, “Why does smoke come out of my fireplace?” 

Here’s the straightforward answer: it’s often because of an issue with the chimney draft. The draft is like a helpful force that’s supposed to pull the smoke up the chimney and out of your house. If this force is not strong enough, the smoke might sneak back into your home. 

There are several things that can cause a weak draft. Let’s find out them all in one setting and explore the simple fixes to keep your fireplace cozy, not smoky!

Why Does Smoke Come Out of My Fireplace?

So, why is smoke not going out the chimney or fireplace? When smoke billows out of your fireplace instead of going up the chimney, it’s not just frustrating – it could be risky. Not only does it spoil the joy of having a cozy fire, but it also signals a problem that might result in carbon monoxide issues. 

Let’s explore the usual reasons why this happens and how you can fix it.

Why Does Smoke Come Out of My Fireplace

Closed Damper

The damper is like a metal flap that manages how much air goes in and out of your chimney. If the damper is closed, it stops the smoke from getting out. Always double-check to make sure the damper is wide open before starting a fire.



A downdraft happens when the air inside your house is less than the air outside. This can occur if windows or doors are open or there’s a strong wind. When a downdraft occurs, it pushes smoke into your house instead of up the chimney. To solve this, try opening a window close to the fireplace to even out the pressure.

Blocked Chimney

When your chimney is blocked, it’s a big issue because it stops smoke from getting out and can lead to carbon monoxide problems. Blockages can happen due to a buildup of creosote, nests made by animals, or debris falling into the chimney. If you think your chimney is blocked, it’s essential to get a professional chimney sweep to check and clean it.

Blocked Chimney

Incorrect Firewood

Using the wrong kind of firewood can cause a lot of smoke. Only use dry firewood that has been left to dry for at least six months to avoid this issue.

What is the best wood to burn in a fireplace? Read our insightful blog to find out the right answer.

Poorly Built Fireplace or Chimney

If your fireplace or chimney isn’t built correctly, it can make smoke come back into the house. This is a serious problem that needs a professional to fix.

House Air Pressure

In newer homes, everything is sealed tight to save energy. But this can create a problem where the air pressure inside stops smoke from going up the chimney. To fix it, open a window near the fireplace to let in fresh air.

Windy Weather

When the wind is strong, it can mess up how your chimney works and make smoke come back into the house. If this happens, try waiting until the wind calms down before lighting a fire.

Water Seepage

Rain or snow getting into the chimney can make the inside too cold, making the chimney draft weak and causing smoke to come back in.

Besides, visit our insightful blog to learn how to get rid of chimney swift birds.

How to Fix It

Let’s talk about some simple tips to solve these problems.

  • Chimney Cleaning: Get a chimney sweep to clean out the dirt and make sure your chimney lets the smoke go through easily.
  • Warm Up the Chimney: Before lighting a fire, warm up your chimney a bit. This makes it nicer for the smoke to travel.
  • Right Size: Make sure your fireplace and chimney are the right match. If not, you might need to make some changes.
  • Check the Updraft: Think about things like wind direction that can change how the smoke goes. Adjusting your chimney cap can also help control the airflow.
  • Put a Chimney Cap On: To stop the water seepage issue, put a chimney cap on. It keeps out water, animal nests, and debris, making the chimney draft stronger and preventing indoor smoke.
  • Dry Wood: Choose dry, seasoned wood to make less smoke. Your fireplace will be happier with it.
  • Install a Vent: As per negative air pressure inside the house, install a vent behind the fireplace to bring in outside air. This helps balance the air pressure, letting the smoke go out through the chimney like it should.
  • Put a Smoke Guard: As per chimney or fireplace design flaw, if fixing the structure is too expensive, you can put a smoke guard above the fireplace. It stops some of the fire by-products from coming into the home, reducing exposure to smoke.

Do you know how to prepare for a chimney sweep? Visit our blog to learn about this topic.

Safety Precautions

Fireplace smoke in the house is dangerous. That’s why if smoke comes out of your fireplace, avoiding carbon monoxide issues is crucial. Here are some things you can do:

  • Open a window close to the fireplace to let fresh air in.
  • Stop using the fireplace and wait until the issue is fixed.
  • Get a qualified professional to check and clean your chimney.
  • Put a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

If you need the top-rated fireplace cleaning and repair service in Austin, Texas, go for Austin Chimney & Air Duct Solutions. Our experienced technicians, who’ve been doing this for ten years, make sure your fireplace is safe and works well. We fix things like cracks in the firebox and broken chimney caps. We don’t just repair – we also do maintenance to stop future issues. If your fireplace needs help, contact us. We’ll give you a free estimate and fix it like experts in Austin.

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Wrapping Up

To sum it up, knowing why smoke comes out of your fireplace helps you fix the problem. If your chimney is blocked or the flue is cold, you can make your fireplace work better. Just do simple things like cleaning the chimney, using dry firewood, and thinking about the wind. These steps make sure your fireplace is warm and doesn’t have smoke. So, when you ask, “Why does smoke come out of my fireplace?” you’ll have the answers to make it cozy and smoke-free.


White smoke is coming out of the chimney. What can I do now?

If you see white smoke from the chimney, it might be normal moisture. If it’s a lot, check for blockages or get professional help.

Smoke is coming out of the chimney, but no fire. What does the problem suggest?

If smoke comes out without a fire, it suggests a blockage or the flue is too cold. Check for obstructions or warm the flue before use.

Why is my outdoor chimney not drawing smoke up properly?

A weak draw can happen due to wind, blockages, or a chimney that’s not tall enough. Check for debris, and think about making the chimney taller for better results. If problems continue, ask a professional chimney sweep for help.

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