Smoke Guard For Fireplace: Functions, Installation & Buying Guide

Is your fireplace smoking due to back drafts?

One component you’ll need to have installed is the smoke guard or hood. As with other fireplace and chimney components, the smoke guard serves an important function and enhances functionality.

To have this component installed, you’ll need to know more about its workings.

What’s a Smoke Guard?

The smoke guard serves to prevent smoke from spilling out from a fireplace.

This serves a key function as it helps enhance the efficiency of a fireplace. The smoke guard is made from a non-combustible material (mostly steel) which is installed at the top of the fireplace.

This not only serves to keep in the smoke but also helps deflect heat into your room.

One good thing about smoke guards is that they’re designed for easy installation. In other words, the installation process isn’t complex at all and can be fixed by the homeowner without having to call an expert.

What Causes Fireplace Smoke?

Sometimes, there are design flaws associated with fireplaces. You might have a fireplace that’s too large compared to the chimney flue. A fireplace and chimney need to be built according to definite specifications.

When they don’t, what results is a malfunctioning fireplace with common issues like smoke.

Speaking of a fireplace not built to specification, you might have a chimney that’s too short or a small flue.

Other possible design flaws include a high firebox lintel that’s too high. Any of these scenarios will result in a smoky fireplace.

Thankfully, there’s a solution for such mostly in the form of a smoke guard. This component helps rectify the problem by limiting the amount of smoke exposure.

Problems Caused By Smoky Fireplaces

Without a smoke guard in place, you’re bound to have lots of issues with your fireplace.

One of them includes staining above your fireplace. There’s also smoke staining of your furniture, carpets, and also discoloration. Smoke leaks will need to be contained to prevent such from happening.

In cases of firebox stains, these are unsightly and could prove difficult to get rid of. Your best bet at containing the problem is having the smoke contained by installing a smoke guard.

This helps remedy design flaws that give rise to smoky fireplaces

Will Smoke Guards Prevent Odors?

Odors emanating from a fireplace are easily perceived around the room when adequate odor treatments aren’t performed. So, will a smoke guard also eliminate such odors?

Smoke guards are basically designed to prevent or limit smoke from exiting the fireplace into the room.

Apart from that, there’s little or nothing a smoke guard can do to prevent odors. In other words, the smoke guard is considered useless for odor control.

You’ll need to find effective ways to deal with your odor problem.

Before You Buy A Smoke Guard

There are lots of smoke guard products ranging in size, design, and style among others. Now, fireplaces are not of the same size. This means you’ll need to find a smoke guard that fits your fireplace.

Visually estimating the size needed won’t be of help as it will do little in helping you pick the right size.

You’ll need to do much more to find out what smoke guard size will fit your fireplace. One of the ways to do this includes taking an aluminum foil that’s a bit wider than the fireplace opening.

Now, this will need to be folded width-wise to make it more sturdy.

Get a tape and hold the aluminum foil in place while closing a few inches of space at the fireplace top. All of this action will need to be taken while the fireplace is in use.

Close observation will show if the foil prevents smoke from getting out or not.

If it does, you’ll need to lower the foil until you find the perfect setting. This is used to easily pick the right smoke guard for your fireplace.

Benefits Of Having A Smoke Guard Installed

The need to have a smoke guard installed is usually in response to smoke leaks from a fireplace. Now, this component not only helps keep in or channel smoke properly but also prevents carbon monoxide backup.

This eliminates the risks of poisoning arising from exposure to this toxic chemical.

With a smoke guard in place, you get to create positive draft strength, thus resolving the imbalance in draft causing smoky fireplaces. What more?

Combustible exhausts will have to leave through the right channels only.

Can a Smoke Guard Be Used With Gas Fireplaces?

Although they burn cleanly, gas fireplaces may still emit a small amount of smoke. There’s also the carbon monoxide that’s released alongside such smoke.

With this fireplace component in place, your gas fireplace can function much efficiently.

Calling For Smoke Guard Installation

Although the DIY route to smoke guard installation may seem attractive for some homeowners, it may be considered stressful to some people.

It’s best to have your smoke guard professionally installed without the possibility of issues arising.

This is where professional chimney services come into the picture. These experts provide all sorts of chimney-related maintenance, repair, and remodeling services.

Having them come over for an assessment of your fireplace is the first step towards solving the problem.

Sometimes, a smoking fireplace problem may not be resolved by smoke guard installation. There could be other underlying issues extending beyond the fireplace such as a narrow flue.

Whatever the problems are, they’re easily detected and rectified by reputable chimney services.

What To Do When Smoke Guard Fails to Keep In Smoke

As stated earlier, it’s possible to find smoke still spilling out of a fireplace after a smoke guard has been installed.

Several reasons can be given as possible explanations for such. One is that the height of the fireplace may not be adequately corrected.

This is possible when the smoke guard isn’t installed correctly or when such installation is done by a novice. On the other hand, the cause of the problem may extend well beyond the fireplace.

In any case, it’s best to have a chimney pro conduct an assessment of the fireplace and chimney.

A smoke guard for the fireplace is an important addition to consider. This is especially true for persons having defects in their fireplace construction.

A smoke guard helps contain smoke spread into homes from fireplaces.

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