House smells after using fireplace

Have a wood burning fireplace in family room of a house recently purchased. After burning Duraflame or Northland logs the next morning the house smells like a campfire doused with water. THe odor last 2-3 days. I have tried leaving the flue open till the next morning and closing it an hour or so after logs are burned up. Any ideas what could be causing this?
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Have you had the chimney checked and cleaned?

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (TigerPaw40) wrote in message

Sounds like inadequate draft. If you have been closing the damper, try leaving it open. Alternatively, the chimney height or placement may promote downdraft.
TB
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My brother has the same problem. They've had the chimney cleaned several times with no luck. The last one told them that he thought the chimney height and proximity to the roof might be causing a down draft in the flue.
Is there a fan or something that can be added to the chimney?? Or are they just stuck to not being able to use the fireplace?
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House we had smoked with fire and to correct we should have added about a foot to chimney height. Prevailing breeze went over peak of roof and down the chimney.
On 13 Nov 2003 18:53:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.gov (Rileyesi) wrote:

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Some additional thoughts to ponder:
My own opinion is that Duraflame or Northland type logs really are not very good to burn. I don't know what temperature they burn at as compared to dry hard wood but, it doesn't appear to be as hot and you do need a temperature high enough to create the updraft in the chimney.
If your house is well sealed, then you might be encountering a problem of not having sufficient air for the fireplace to work properly. A very simple experiment will tell you if this is the case. Crack a window or door open and light the fire in the fireplace. All the smoke and odours should go straight up the chimney once there is sufficient heat in the chimney to produce the updraft.
We had a very large fireplace for the size of the house and this worked wonders.
If the problem is that air is being forced down the chimney past the closed damper when there isn't a fire in the fireplace, check that the damper is clean (even if a chimney sweep claimed to have cleaned it), and make sure that it is closing properly. If those two items check out, you MAY benefit from a chimney cap that looks like a tube on its side. I never needed one but am told that it sets up a negative pressure in the chimney when the wind blows thereby drawing air up the chimney instead of blowing down the chimney.
Hope this helps
--
Ron
Port Dover Ontario
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The chimney has been cleaned, the previous owner left the receipt for me, was cleaned last spring. The chimney is a double, joins the fireplace on the 1st floor. It has gas logs. I do have trouble getting an updraft before I light the fire. I have to open the door that leads up the stairs to the outside. Once the fire is going I close the door. Since it gets very cold in the room. I can see the smoke up drafting when the fire is going, I wonder if when the fire cools, the downdraft comes back. This fireplace is in the basement family room; I can't ever remember seeing a basement fireplace. I really need help with this one, it's been my dream for years of having a home with a fireplace and would like to solve this problem. Thanks
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i had a similar problem a few years back.... the chimney sweep came out and cleaned the chimney and everything was good to go. or at least so i thought. everytime SWMBO torched a fire.... it would take forever to get the draft started, but after a while the room would fill up with smoke and i would come down and close the fireplace glass doors, and open windows to clear the smoke... finally had someone come out to check the fireplace itself.... turns out the rachet for the flue opener was broken and eventho the handle was in the full open position, the flue was only opening about an inch. the repair was simple... the guy took out the out cast iron flue and put a damper ON TOP of the chimney with a stainless steel pull down wire. now the things draws like a charm...helps to have an 12 inch OPEN flue to work with. when the fire is dead out, we reach in and pull down the wire and it seals the chimney at the top.... no more birds or critters visiting us either..... BTW... our fireplace is in the basement.
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WARRENRN1 wrote:

Warren: I've been looking for something like that; that is shut to off the TOP of the chimney remotely; thought I'd have to make one! Something like yours, our 'damper' and its actuator had corroded away after a few years. Many thanks if you can help provide a product name or a contact for such a device. Terry.
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I carry them. Look on this page:
http://www.FireLogs.com/Lyemance.htm http://www.FireLogs.com/Literature-Lyemance.htm
Note: This is a commercial website.
--
John Galbreath Jr.
http://www.firelogs.com /
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WARRENRN1 wrote:

Fireplaces aren't 20th and 21st century automatic devices. Before you start the fire you are suppose to open the damper and then stick you head in and see if you see any light above. If you don't, it's either night, so wait until the next day, or something is wrong that needs to be fixed. Starting a fire without checking the damper is like getting in a car and driving away with flat tires and wondering why the ride is bumpy.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (TigerPaw40) wrote in message

We have a three story house with fire places on each floor. They work o.k. since you have to open the door to get make up air, perhaps you need an intake from outside.
TB
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I've always found that fireplace smells linger. I expect a glass door arrangement would minimize this. No one has posted that *they* have no lingering odors. I don't have a kitchen exhaust, and certain food odors, particularly *any* sort of frying, hang around for quite a while, even with open windows. Obviously, fresh air circulation and exhaust are important, but it *may* be that certain odors are the price you pay for a fire. If I could keep the smoke/scent of burning pinon in my house for *weeks*, I'd be pleased. A log of pressed sawdust and petroleum? Maybe not.
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WTF? what gives? what can I do??

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you can always use your tongue to clean it after every use.
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Check to see if the vent stack is stopped up. The toilet will "belch" sewer gas if there is no venting.

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flush.
I couldn't resist!
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wrote:

YOUR SHIT STINKS
I couldn't resist!
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@aol.com says...

bathroom fans, furnace?) is drawing cold air down your chimney and bringing chimney odors in with it. It could even be as simple as the chimney being on an outside wall, cooling off overnight, and the cold air in the chimney falling into the house.
Most flues are not air tight enough to prevent either of these.
Rick
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says...

fireplace also had lingering wood fire odors, but the reason was a little different. The brick facade on our fireplace had, over time, become detached from the main block of chimney masonary. The only thing holding it up was the mantle. There was enough of a separation that hot gas/flames from the fire leaked between the rows of brick and was scorching the back of the paneling and the furing strips the the paneling was nailed to. I discovered this when we were painting the family room and I decided to take the mantle down and replace it with a different style. I always thought that the smell was the result of chimney downdraft issues. I have re-mortared the bricks and am in the process of replacing the paneling with drywall. You should check and see that there are no leaks of hot gas anywhere around your masonry that could be scorching/burning any framing,paneling or anything that will burn. Hope this helps John
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