Chimney drafts can be even more annoying in spring than in winter because the smells they carry are usually worse. Variously described as “sour and sickly”, “dry and acrid”, “damp and smoky”, all kinds of smells become more noticeable in spring. Usually mediated by the updraft in a chimney when the fireplace is used, smells are no longer rising when it is not.
Drafts Tell You Something
There are at least two things to think about when you have had enough of chimney drafts. The first is to take it very seriously if your chimney regularly fails to vent smoke from the fireplace. The second is to eliminate the terrible smell it seasonally puts into your home and again, address the cause.
If drafting is only a problem in spring and only because it smells so bad, have a certified sweep come out and clean the chimney. What you smell is damp creosote that needs to come out for safety as well as air-freshening reasons. The longer it stays in the flue, the more damage it does, so for both reasons, it is better to get it out now.
Chimney Sweeps Speak Their Language
A sweep can also check the condition of your chimney cap, which needs to function properly to offset wind gusts, also more likely in spring. The draft-improving features of chimney caps are often overlooked but are built into their design. Furthermore, once the chimney has been cleaned and checked, it is safe to close the damper until fall.
If improper drafting is a problem when the fireplace is in use, that is obviously life threatening. Many homes have improperly sized or installed fireplaces, and many chimneys are the wrong height. The chimney needs to remove more than bad smells for your family’s safety, so have a certified professional take a look, and fix the problem.