How do you prevent a two sided fireplace from backing up smoke into the house?
We have a fireplace that has glass doors that sits between two rooms. The doors can be opened from either side. When we light it, smoke backs up and fills the house. The chimney is clear and the flute open. Are there tips on how to operate a fireplace so that smoke drawls out correctly?
An interesting problem, Paul. My first reaction thought was "I bet that the flue isn't open." But you say that it is. I googled "two sided chimney problem" and the first hit was this: http://www.chimneys.com/burning_secrets/chapter_4.html. They mention things like "priming the flue" and have a special section on fireplaces with glass doors.
Please let me know if this solves your problem.
I would suggest contacting a licensed chimney sweep. A fireplace system should be inspected annually by a chimney sweep. I Googled the Chimney Safety Institute, and they are now on Facebook, or they can be found at http://www.csia.org/ NFPA The National Fire Protection Association is also on FB now.
I have personally known an authentic Chimney Sweep for over 30 years, sitting for hours listening to customers talk about their problems, and solutions.
A Chimney Sweep must be tested every few years to retain their standing, because Insurance companies give discounts to homeowners who use a Chimney Sweep each year.
Considering your family is at stake, an inspection is usually under $100.00, and again, you get a rebate from your insurance company, and possibly a reduction in rates for using a Chimney Sweep, my final answer is; make an appointment for a member of the Chimney Sweep guild to inspect your system, and make recommendations and/or modifications which could be life saving.
When you start your fire, the flue is open and it is colder than the house. I am assuming that you have 1) a cold day, so the flue is cold, and 2) that you do not have the heat in the house cranked up, but it is warmer in the house than it is outside, thus warmer than the flue. Am I right so far? A cold flue, repels heat, thus encourages the smoke to exhaust into the room if it has a chance as it does in a two sided fireplace. Try this to warm up the flue which will help if draw. Close one side of the fireplace's glass doors, Start the fire slowly to gently raise the heat of the flue. as it heats up, and becomes warmer than the room, and if it is open as you say it is, it will begin to draw the smoke. Try it and let me know.
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