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Why Does My Fireplace Smell Bad and How Can I Fix It?

Fireplaces evoke cozy feelings, but bad odors from any source can negatively affect your quality of life. Have you been wondering, “Why does my fireplace smell bad and how can I fix it?” You are not alone in that. There are several reasons why unpleasant smells may be coming from your fireplace. The fix for it may or may not be easy. It’s always important to call on trusted chimney sweeps like those at Chimney Saver Solutions in Richmond VA. We offer the skills and training required to appropriately tackle the many chimney issues that arise, including odors.

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What Causes Bad Fireplace Smells?

Annual chimney inspections and cleaning are recommended so that small issues don’t worsen and end up requiring expensive repairs. Without routine maintenance, various signs and clues that problems exist eventually become evident. A bad odor coming from the fireplace is one of those hints that the chimney needs attention. 

The Chimney is Dirty

The flammable creosote produced by wood fires is messy and problematic. Every wood fire adds to the buildup of the toxic, tar-like substance. The more creosote there is in your chimney, the greater the threat there is of a dangerous chimney fire. A majority of chimney fires cause structural damage. This usually means that the chimney flue is no longer intact, which is another hazardous, potentially life-threatening situation. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual chimney cleanings. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says chimney cleaning should be scheduled once 1/8” of creosote has built up in the chimney flue. If, however, cleaning is basically ignored, one of the results can be that the fireplace will begin to emit an overwhelmingly smoky stench, something like charred wood. 

The fix for a stinky, dirty chimney: Schedule a chimney cleaning ASAP.

A Gas Leak

Gas fireplaces are very safe appliances when they are installed correctly and when annual maintenance is scheduled. Various circumstances can result in a gas leak, which typically causes the spread of a stinky odor throughout the home. 

If your gas fireplace is the source of the unpleasant scent: Call trusted chimney sweeps.


If there isn’t a chimney cap with mesh at the top of your chimney flue, it is possible that animals have invaded your chimney. Birds, snakes, bats, and rodents are among the critters that commonly invade chimneys. Bad smells can be caused by a buildup of animal waste. Is the odor coming from your chimney unbearable? If so, the problem may be that an animal died in your chimney and has begun to decompose.

If pests are the reason why your fireplace smells bad, you can fix it by calling qualified chimney sweeps for the removal of the animal(s), whether dead or alive.   

Contact the Chimney Experts to Fix Your Smelly Fireplace Problem

Our CSIA-certified pros at Chimney Saver Solutions are familiar with the many problems that may arise with chimneys, and they have solutions. They are the ones to call if your question is, “Why does my fireplace smell bad and how can I fix it?” The chimney sweep industry is unregulated, which is something ruthless scammers often take advantage of.

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So, you can save yourself time and money by ensuring that true experts arrive at your home to solve your fireplace and chimney issues. 

Contact Chimney Saver Solutions if you have a stinky fireplace or need masonry repair, chimney crown replacement, flashing repair, help identifying the source of a leaky chimney, or anything else associated with your chimney or fireplace.

Call us today at 804-440-5000 or fill out our online form. Whether we get rid of odors for you or make your home feel safer, we will be happy to contribute to your quality of life.

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