Dear Pat: Whenever we use our great room fireplace, some smoke comes out into the room. I am going to add one to the master bedroom. How can I keep the new fireplace from being smoky like the old one? - Patty M.
Dear Patty: You definitely are not alone with the problem of a smoky wood-burning fireplace. More than half of fireplaces cause some smoky conditions inside homes and it is difficult to ever totally rid the room of the smoky odor.
There are many possible causes of a smoky fireplace. The fact that your existing fireplace belches smoke out into the room whenever you use it indicates a fireplace design error. When fireplaces smoke only occasionally, it may be from an improperly laid fire or unusually windy conditions outdoors. These can blow the smoke back down the chimney and/or create a negative pressure inside your home.
With proper design, your new fireplace in the master bedroom should be relatively smoke-free indoors. The relationship among all the dimensions of a fireplace are critical to its creating a strong draft up the chimney. An aesthetically pleasing fireplace size and style are nice, but don't let this override sound fireplace design principles.