Fireplace problem

I have a fireplace that in the middle of the room. The front and back are open. When I start a fire there smoke creeps out into the room from the back. A rooftop fan helps be is quite noisy.
I've been considering covering the back opening with glass. What kind of glass is available and I should be asking?
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John wrote:

yup, need to lower the open area.....tempered, or I think my gas fireplace has something fancier......how bout ust a couple of those glass fireplace screens from the Home Despot....
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Did you try opening a window ? With my fireplace I always open a window at the beginning to change the pressure so the smoke goes tru the cheminy instead of going all over the room

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Open a nearby window or outside door a bit during the first few minutes when you light the fire. Once the chimney warms up slightly, you can close them. Poor draft at startup is almost always due to slightly negative air pressure in the house. Not at all uncommon. Once the chimney warms up, it can draw well enough to overcome it.
Commodore Joe Redcloud
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John wrote:

In addition to the others, it helps to hold a burning newspaper up at the top to help warm the chimney, just drop it before it burns your hand.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

If the flue is unusually cold and I really feel the cold downdraft, I put a ceramic heater in the firebox for 30 - 40 minutes to warm it up. Then I hold rolled up newspaper near the flue to get the updraft started.
Regards,
Harry
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I have this problem at times as well. When the chimney is cold the cold air just rushes down. What I have been doing with mixed success is using a lot of tinder to get a hot fire going very fast to just minimize the amount of smoke that comes in the room (and I also open a door already too). I like this idea of using a heater to combat and reverse the airflow prior to lighting and I will try this. But once the heater does its thing, why still the need to wave the burning newspaper? Tomes
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Tomes wrote:

I have the same problem from time to time. I've found that if I turn off my central heating system that it seems to help. I think when the system is running it makes for just a slight vacuum in the house that allows the air want to flow down the chimney. After the fire is going I turn the system back on again and no problem.
-Richard
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