Fireplace Performance Solutions

A properly-performing fireplace does what it’s supposed to do: provides heat, warmth and ambiance, doesn’t stink, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t put your home and family in danger. Unfortunately, sometimes a fireplace sends smoke billowing into your living space or fails to heat the space it was built for. If you’ve found that your fireplace isn’t performing up to your expectations, call Mason’s Chimney Service.

You may just need a thorough chimney sweeping, or you may not have the right appliance for the space you need to heat. There are a variety of things that could be contributing to performance issues, and we can find the problems and the solutions.

Common Contributors To Fireplace Performance Issues

Blocked Flue
Your flue needs to be clean and clear in order to properly vent, and blockage could be contributing to smoke and other problems. If you’re keeping up with your annual chimney inspections and sweeping, you shouldn’t experience a blocked flue, since your Mason’s Chimney Service technician will be making sure to remove any deposits of creosote (a residue that forms as hot air and byproducts rise, and condensation cools). But creosote isn’t the only contributor to blocked flues — missing or damaged chimney caps can allow birds and other animals access to the flue. The nests and other debris from these animals can quickly block a flue. We can inspect your flue to make sure it isn’t blocked, and, if possible, remove any materials that are creating blockage (Something to keep in mind: One of the reasons it’s important to have a chimney cap is to keep out birds, and if federally protected chimney swifts end up nesting in your chimney, it’s illegal to remove them or their nests. You’ll have to wait until they leave on their own.).

Drafting Problems
In order for smoke and gases to properly move up and out of the flue, your chimney needs to have the proper draft and capacity. Draft, in this case, is referring to the air pressure forcing room air into your heating appliance and pushing smoke up. The strength of that push depends on the level of pressure inside your home and inside the chimney. If, say, your chimney is operating too cold, your draft may be too low to properly exhaust the gases, and smoke can puff back into your home. We’ll assess your whole system and if draft is an issue, we’ll fix it.

Chimney caps can help too. A chimney cap is a small part that brings a lot of benefits, from blocking rain and animals to, in some cases, helping your chimney vent. Special caps that are installed and sized properly can help eliminate wind-induced downdrafts and improve venting.

Smoking Fireplaces
It’s not exactly a good time when you’re trying to enjoy a fire that’s billowing smoke towards you. Smoking can be caused by a variety of issues, including:

  • Having the wrong size flue for your appliance
  • A chimney that has too many bends
  • Problems with other vents in the home — dryers, exhaust fans — allowing too much air to escape and creating low air pressure
  • Having a home that’s so airtight, sufficient air isn’t flowing in to feed fires

These are just a few things we’ll be looking for. Sometimes repairs can be as simple as encouraging you to open a window or make sure all fans are shut off when you’re operating the fireplace. Other times, we may recommend that you install a smoke guard to correct the size of the firebox opening, or have your flue relined to size it correctly for your appliance. Whatever your problem is, we’ll recommend exactly what you need to do to enjoy your fireplace safely and efficiently — nothing more, nothing less.

Are you experiencing fireplace performance issues? Call Mason’s Chimney Service. We’ll have you enjoying a safe and efficient fire in no time.


A leaky chimney can be a serious problem that needs to be dealt with without delay. This critical chimney service is part of what we do every day, so give us a call.