Danger: His fireplace is leaking fumes

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Q. We use the fireplace in our 100-year-old house maybe three times a week, burn only hardwood, and have the chimney swept every year. In the last couple of years we have noticed that when we have a fire we must keep a towel on the floor of the second floor guest room or the room gets a bit smoky. Not bad but there is an odor. Also a built-in china cabinet on the first floor has a smoky odor. I don’t know if the chimney has suspect not), but should I be worried about a crack in the chimney and sparks getting into the walls. Is a fix as simple as having a liner installed? I’d hate to have the walls torn apart to fix the chimney.

JIM, in Hotton’s chat room

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