How to Get Rid of the Smell in Chimney in the Summer?

August 14, 2023
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why does my chimney smell in the summer

“Why does my chimney smell in the summer?” If you’ve ever asked yourself this question while trying to enjoy the warmer months at home, you’re not alone. A common challenge faced by homeowners during the summer is the unwelcome odor that emanates from their chimneys. The combination of heat, humidity, and other factors can create the perfect conditions for unpleasant chimney smells to arise. 

But fear not, for in this comprehensive blog, we will deep into the details of the root causes of these summertime chimney odors and provide you with effective solutions to reclaim the freshness of your living space. Say goodbye to the musty scents and welcome a pleasant, odor-free summer indoors!  

Let’s get started on how to get rid of the fireplace smell for good.

Reasons Behind the Smell in the Chimney During the Summer

There are several reasons why the fireplace smells in the summer. Let’s explore each of them:

Creosote Buildup

Creosote Buildup in Chimney

Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood in your fireplace. Over time, it accumulates in the chimney’s interior lining. In the warmer months, the heat from the sun can cause the creosote to release a distinct odor. This scent can be particularly noticeable when the chimney is not in use during the summer, as there is no new airflow to disperse the smell.

Humidity and Moisture

Chimney smells when it’s humid. During the summer, humidity levels tend to rise, especially in regions with hot and humid climates. When moisture enters the chimney, it can interact with the residues left behind from previous fires, such as creosote. This mixture of moisture and creosote can produce a foul odor, akin to a musty or damp smell, permeating your home.

Stagnant Air

In the summertime, when you are less likely to use your fireplace, the air inside the chimney can become stagnant. Stagnant air can trap odors and exacerbate any existing smells, making them more noticeable within your home.

Chimney Waterproofing Issues

Chimneys have a strong odor in the summer if your chimney has any cracks, gaps, or other openings in its structure which cause rainwater to seep into it during summer storms. This water can mix with creosote and other debris, leading to unpleasant smells when the chimney heats up.

Decomposing Debris

Leaves, twigs, and other organic materials that fall into the chimney during the spring and summer can decompose in the warm, humid environment. The decomposition process can create foul-smelling gases that rise into your living space.

Animal or Bird Nests

Animal or Bird Nests in Chimney

During the spring, animals and birds may find your chimney a suitable nesting spot due to its warmth and shelter. If these nests are not removed before summer arrives, the decomposing materials from the nests can cause a pungent smell to emanate from your chimney as temperatures rise. Thus, your chimney smells musty.

How to Fix Chimney Smell in the Summer

Fixing the chimney smell in the summer involves a mix of preventive measures, regular maintenance, and targeted solutions to address specific odor-causing issues.  

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you eliminate the unpleasant smell from your chimney during the warmer months:

Chimney Inspection

Chimney Inspection

Schedule a professional chimney inspection before the summer season begins. A certified chimney sweep can assess the condition of your chimney, identify any potential sources of odor, and recommend appropriate solutions.

Chimney Cleaning

If the inspection reveals the presence of creosote buildup or debris in the chimney, schedule a thorough cleaning. A clean chimney will not only eliminate existing odors but also prevent them from developing in the future.

Cleaning soot from the fireplace doesn’t follow a strict schedule, but if you notice buildup, it’s time to clean. The National Fire Protection Association advises at least an annual chimney cleaning, especially for frequent fireplace use.

Chimney Cap Installation

Install a chimney cap if you don’t already have one. A chimney cap acts as a protective barrier, preventing animals, birds, and debris from entering the chimney. This helps to avoid potential blockages and foul smells caused by nesting materials. Thus, you can get rid of the smell of a chimney in the summer.

Don’t Install a Top-seal Damper

Installing a top-seal damper is not recommended because it can trap foul odors inside the chimney, preventing them from escaping to the outdoors. Instead of allowing the odors to dissipate naturally, the damper seals off the chimney’s opening, leading to a buildup of unpleasant smells that can linger inside your home. 

Animal Removal

If you suspect that animals or birds have nested in your chimney, hire a professional to remove the nest and any debris safely. Once the nesting materials are removed, thoroughly clean the chimney to eliminate any residual odor.

Use Fireplace Odor Eliminators

There are commercial chimney deodorizing products available, such as chimney deodorant logs or granules. These products are created to neutralize odors and can be burned like regular logs to help combat chimney smells.

Natural Deodorizing Remedies

Deodorizing your fireplace can effectively remove smoky smells, whether caused by cigarettes or fireplace residue. One excellent method is to use a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water to spray the inside of the fireplace. This solution works wonders in neutralizing odors and freshening up the space. For added effectiveness, strategically place a few open bowls of vinegar around the room to further improve the atmosphere.

Another effective deodorizing option is to utilize either charcoal or kitty litter. Placing a bucket of either substance inside the fireplace can help absorb and eliminate unwanted odors. These natural deodorizers work well to tackle lingering smells, making your fireplace area more pleasant.

Chimney Waterproofing

Chimney Waterproofing

Consider chimney waterproofing to prevent rainwater from seeping into the chimney. Waterproofing products create a barrier on the exterior masonry, reducing moisture absorption and minimizing the chances of foul smells caused by moisture mixing with creosote.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

If you occasionally use your fireplace during the summer, ensure that the room is well-ventilated. Opening windows or using fans can help disperse any lingering odors.

Regular Use

If possible, try using your fireplace occasionally during the summer. A small fire can help improve the airflow in the chimney, reducing unused chimney smells and potential odor problems.

Professional Assistance

If you’ve tried various solutions without success and failed to eliminate fireplace smells in the summer, or if you’re unsure of the source of the odor, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional chimney sweep. They have the expertise to identify and address complex odor issues effectively.

Are you facing an odor problem in your chimney? Don’t let it ruin your home’s cozy atmosphere. Consider Air Duct Now’s professional chimney sweeping, cleaning, and repair services in Los Angeles, CA, to get your chimneys in pristine condition!

At our family-owned and operated chimney sweep Los Angeles service, we prioritize safety, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. With over 15 years of experience in the field, we have honed our skills to deliver exceptional results.

Experience the best chimney inspection and repair service in Los Angeles today. Contact us for a same-day appointment, and let us take care of your chimneys to provide you with a clean and enjoyable living space!

Wrapping Up

In essence, if you’ve ever wondered, “Why does my chimney smell in the summer?” – fear not, as there are effective solutions to banish those unpleasant odors and create a fresh and enjoyable home environment. Understanding the reasons behind the chimney smell in the summer and implementing effective solutions can help you enjoy a fresh and odor-free home during the warmer months. Don’t let chimney odors spoil your summer – take action now and reclaim a cozy and pleasant living space.


How can I reduce air pollution from my chimney?

Reduce air pollution from your chimney by burning clean, hot fires with sufficient air, avoiding visible smoke, and refraining from burning treated or painted wood, plastics, garbage, or wrapping paper.

Do electric chimneys absorb smell?

Electric chimneys absorb kitchen odors by sucking in the air along with grease particles, filtering and trapping them to keep your kitchen cool and odor-free.

Why does a chimney need to breathe?

Proper ventilation is essential for chimneys, even when not in use, as it prevents moisture buildup and deterioration of the structure.

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