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Old 02-28-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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Fireplace Odor


I have a fireplace that occasionally produces a musty, burnt ash smell in the house when not being used. This odor seems to be random, occurring during dry or humid weather, and without regard to whether the fireplace has ashes in it or not. The fireplace is on the main floor, is a conventional insert w/metal chimney and is the only fireplace in the house. The chimney draws well when I have a fire. Any ideas as to what causes the odor?

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Old 02-28-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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Fireplace Odor


Downdraft/negative pressure in the house. Changes in weather/barometric pressure etc can cause that. There is always leftover residue in the chimney and with a downdraft that may be the smell. If you can catch it at the right time blow some cigarette smoke in and see if it rises/and open a window nearby.

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Old 02-28-2009, 03:35 PM   #3
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Fireplace Odor


I have the same thing happen every now & then
Usually on windy days
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:05 PM   #4
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Fireplace Odor


Makes sense. I can turn on the gas lighter and the odor goes away. I suppose it heats up the fireplace and reverses the air flow. It's just that I can't keep it lit all the time.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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Fireplace Odor


I have seen a few "Heatilator" more efficient/airtight types where they have good sealing front doors. The combustion air comes in under the grate thru 2" pipes from the outside. Maybe they are available in your area.
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