Danger: His fireplace is leaking fumes

This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to BostonGlobe.com

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

Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.

Get the full story with unlimited access to BostonGlobe.com.

Just 99 cents for four weeks.