Troubleshooting a Smelly Chimney

No one enjoys smelling unpleasant odors at home. Every summer, All Seasons Chimney gets calls from customers about bad smells coming from their chimneys through their fireplaces. The heat and humidity of summer can accelerate bad odor issues within chimneys and make them even worse. What could be causing these unpleasant odors? Our certified chimney technicians regularly troubleshoot smelly chimneys, and we would like to tell you about the most common causes of stinky chimneys.

Smelly Chimney Woman Nose Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons Chimney


Large accumulations of creosote deposits is the main cause of bad odors that come from your fireplace and chimney, according to The acrid and strong smell of creosote can get even worse in wet weather or in the summer because your chimney is not as effective at drawing this unpleasant odor up the flue and out of the chimney. If your chimney is missing a chimney cap, you will likely experience this unpleasant smell every time it rains because moisture worsens the smell of creosote. If the unpleasant odor coming from your chimney smells like bad barbecue or asphalt, you will know for sure creosote is the culprit. An annual chimney sweeping from our certified chimney sweeps at All Seasons Chimney can alleviate this problem. Remember, however, that creosote may penetrate your chimney lining, which will allow odors to remain after we cleaned your chimney. To keep the creosote odor out of your home during warmer weather, disconnect the stove pipe from your chimney and stick a metal cap in the thimble, which is the hole in your chimney. When you block off your chimney during the summer in this way, unpleasant odors have a much more difficult time entering into your house through the fireplace.


When animals like birds, squirrels, and raccoons invade your chimney, the debris and droppings from these animals will emit unpleasant odors. A worst-case scenario is an animal becoming trapped to die within your chimney. If this were to occur, the stench of a dead animal could be unbearable. If the stinky chimney odor is caused by either living or dead animals, All Seasons Chimney can also help you with this problem.

Negative Air Pressure

The main reason unpleasant odors enter your home from your chimney through your fireplace is negative air pressure within your home. When you weatherize your home for the summer, sealing up the house too tightly to prevent the cold air from escaping your home can cause smoky air from the chimney to enter your home from the fireplace instead of exiting outdoors. All Seasons Chimney knows how to handle any negative air pressure problems. Our certified chimney technicians can professionally install a top-sealing damper, which will promote proper air circulation.

If you need help troubleshooting your smelly chimney, contact All Seasons Chimney. We can figure out the culprit behind the unpleasant odors and rid these smells from your home.