• The Firewood Company

Curing the Smoky Chimney

Noticing your chimney pumping out masses of smoke? Want to know how to reduce this to a little puff rather than a choking cloud? The Firewood Company takes a look at what causes your fireplace to produce large amounts of smoke and how you can prevent this urban problem.

It’s not uncommon, particularly on a still winter's night to be greeted with smoky streets from burning wood fires. Not only can this be a huge inconvenience, particularly if it’s during the day and you have washing drying on the line. It’s also not good from an environmental point of view.

Burning wood rather than utilising other forms of heating is a carbon-neutral way of keeping you and your family warm this winter. However, it all comes down to the burn, where you source your wood from, and how you take care of your fireplace.


  • Always burn well-seasoned and good-quality woods. It’s also important that your wood is split correctly.

  • Don’t burn wet wood or green foliage, these will both let off copious amounts of smoke.

  • Don’t throw rubbish into your fireplace as it can cause toxic smoke. This includes glossy newspapers.

  • Never burn treated timber under any circumstances.

  • Clean ash from the tray regularly.

It’s also important to have your fireplace checked if you do notice an increase in smoke, particularly if you are consistently using dry wood. It’s also advised that have a professional clean and check your chimney every year.


The key is to also light your fire correctly the first time. Throwing ample firelighters at a big chunk of damp wood will cause heavy smoke and add to your frustrations of some desperate heat. Having dry kindling that is a softwood variety, stacking your fireplace correctly with ample airflow, will ensure your fire lights correctly. Leaving you to add larger hardwood pieces, that will burn with little smoke and create ample heat.

Open Fireplaces

If you are experiencing your house fill with smoke from an open fireplace it’s more than likely caused by a cold flue. Understanding that when the air inside your flue is too cold it can force smoke back into your home. A quick trick is to prime your fireplace before adding any wood. This can be done by just burning some light kindling or newspaper before throwing on any logs. Once you hear the familiar tinkering sound of a hot flue your fireplace will be ready to load up and enjoy. Cracking an adjacent window can also create airflow and ensure the smoke goes up the chimney and not in your home. Curing the Smoky Chimney

At The Firewood Company, we are proud to only source our firewood from sustainably managed forests. You can be sure when purchasing and burning your wood, you are doing it from a reliable source. Interestingly, whether you choose to burn your wood, or allow it to decay into the ground over many years, it will still create the same amount of carbon. The only question is the speed at which this occurs. Taking care to choose your wood wisely, service your fireplace correctly, and monitor your chimney smoke can help prevent many smoke-filled streets.

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