As soon as the weather gets warmer, The Mad Hatter receives calls from our customers asking us why their chimneys are so stinky. You can blame unpleasant fireplace and chimney odors on heat and humidity. Hot temperatures combined with extra moisture in the air can accelerate and worsen bad odor issues in your chimney. Our years of experience of working with fireplaces and chimneys have taught us that one thing in particular can really cause stinky chimneys. We would like to tell you more about the main reason why your chimney stinks every summer and how we can solve this problem for you.

Creosote Accumulation - Indianapolis IN - Mad Hatter


What is the main cause of bad chimney odors? According to, large deposits of creosote, a natural compound formed during the condensation process of burning wood, are responsible for creating such bad smells that enter your home from the chimney through the fireplace. Heavy summer rains can make the acrid and sour scent of creosote even stronger. If you do not have a chimney cap professionally installed on top of your chimney, you will likely be subjected to the unpleasant odor of creosote every time it rains. If your stinky chimney smells like asphalt or bad barbecue, that is a clear sign that creosote is causing the odor issue. How can you get your chimney, fireplace, and home smelling normal again? Contact The Mad Hatter for your annual chimney sweeping so our certified chimney sweeps can remove all of the creosote build-up from the inner walls of your chimney. Even though we will rid your chimney of the cause of the unpleasant odor, creosote can get into your chimney lining and allow the stench to linger after we cleaned your chimney. If this happens, you can prevent the smell of creosote from entering your home in the summer by disconnecting the stove pipe from your chimney and placing a metal cap over the hole in your chimney, or the thimble.

Negative Air Pressure

How does that creosote smell enter your home from the chimney through the fireplace? The answer to this question has to do with negative air pressure existing within your home. If you weatherized your home for the summer to keep cold air conditioned air from leaking out, you may your home sealed too tight. This can create a draft that forces smoky air from the chimney into your home through the fireplace rather than going up and out of the chimney. Cracking a window can help take care of odor problems caused by negative air pressure, but you may want to consider having the experienced chimney technicians from The Mad Hatter install a top-sealing damper at the top of your chimney to promote proper air circulation. This type of damper will also help to better weatherize your home and save you money on your heating and cooling bills.

Is your chimney stinking this summer? Contact The Mad Hatter to schedule a chimney sweeping as soon as possible. We will make your home smell good again!