I bought a circa 1962 split-level home in August 2005. The fireplace
is in the basement and the chimney is on an outside wall. The home
sits in a valley, so we have a difficult time with the fireplace. The
fireplace does not have a tradtional damper, but a damper cap at the
top of the chimney. I have that closed unless I am burning a fire.
A. Fireplace doesnt draw well. Because of that, it takes a long time
to heat the chimney and once it is heated, everything is fine.
B. When fireplace is not in use, the residual smokey odor is very
obvious. It is May and we still have the smell from the fireplace.
I have a few ideas that will allow me to have wood heat while not
causing a big problem. Can you guys take a look and give me your
1. Chimney cap that has a fan on it. I have seen this mentioned on a
HGTV program. It appears to be designed for homes like mine. Though
the idea makes sense, I can see the lifespan being short because of the
electric motor and the heat exposure. It happens to be unattractive as
well. But, if it works, it may be worth it. Does anyone have any
thoughts on these?
2. Wood Stove insert that seals. My hunch is that the sealed doors
will keep the smokey smell contained in the stove and chimney. Because
of the improved efficiency, I would use less wood as well.
3. A metal (iron) pipe that would run inside the masonry chimney. I
would see this as a way to have a hot chimney as well as making it more
efficient. My father suggested that the pipe extend a few feet above
the chimney. Would this work in solving our problem?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.