Fireplace odor

We live in the Westchester area of Los Angeles and have an old (1947) brick fireplace, and, even though recently cleaned, it still smells.
Is their any "magic" to burning a clean fireplace, where the smoke goes up the chimney and the heat into the house? I'm trying understand the affect of other doors opening, etc. Also, even if damp (on the outside) wood was added, would not any smoke generated go up and not in?
I once had another fireplace which was "deeper" and did not have this problem. Should I light fires in the "back" of the firebox?
Jack
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

I assume you know how to start a fire. Build it as close as you can to directly under the chimney opening.
It must be hot enough to get a draft going for the smoke to travel up the chimney. For every cubic foot of air going up the chimney, another cubic foot of air must enter the house. That is one eason fireplaces are not very efficient. You can have a net loss of heat.
If you don't get enough air infiltrating the house, it will try to draw air down the chiney agains the draft taking the smoke up. Try cracking open a windonw in the room to bring in fresh air. New fireplaces and woodstove oftenhave an intake build in to minimuze the already heated air that wil be sucked out of the house.
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Ed
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This is pretty much what I do. I keep a door open for a few minutes and try to get the fire hot quickly with bellows to heat the chimney and get an upward draft.
All other suggestion are welcome.
Jack Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Ahhhhhhhhh! I reread the point you were making, and will try leaving a distant window open all the time.
I'll let you know what happens.
Jack
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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I assume that by "smells" you are referring to the odor of wood burning. A properly built fireplace (and some are not) will not release smoke into the living area. You may need to heat the chimney some in order to cause smoke to rise in the chimney. I would guess that a 1947 home is not so tight as to require that you open a door or window to provide "make up" air to allow the chimney to function.
I find that with one of my fireplaces it helps to burn a few pieces of wadded up paper when the logs are first lit to encourage the fireplace draft. After the fire is established I have no problem with the chimney not drawing smoke up the chimney. Years ago I bought an excellent monograph on chimney construction (an art form in itself) in a shop at Longfellow's Wayside Inn. It was the basis for several fireplaces that I had built which worked very well. Unfortunately I loaned it to someone who never returned it and I don't recall who. The attached link is a useful substitute.
www.brickinfo.org/pdfs/19a.pdf
RB
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

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Thank you for the reply. Any more suggestions are welcome. I always start the fire with some paper and it heats up quickly, and the draft up the flu is strong and obvious. But, it's later as the fire is burning slowly, and on its way out, that the smell begins.
Jack
RB wrote:

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