If the house smells funny no matter how many candles are lit and air freshners are plugged in, the problem may be chimney odors. Even people who do not use their chimneys often are vulnerable to unpleasant smells coming from their fireplace. There are many common reasons why homeowners find themselves in this particular situation.
One of the most common reasons that a chimney would smell bad is that there are animals living inside of it. When animals decide to live in a chimney, they create a buildup of materials such as waste and fur, which begins to develop an unpleasant odor after awhile. In the worst cases, the animal dies in the chimney and causes a rotting smell to spread throughout the house.
Another common issue with fireplace odors is that there is a buildup of creosote. Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood in the fireplace. When the logs are burned, the creosote builds up inside the chimney. If it is allowed to accumulate over time, it will eventually cause a smell that makes everyone want to stay away from the fireplace.
Of course, when someone chooses to build a fire, there is going to be some degree of odor. In most cases, chimney odor is not a problem because the air goes up and out of the house through the chimney. However, if the home as negative air pressure, the air will come into the house instead of out. In this case, it is best to let a professional handle the problem since it can become quite complicated.
When a repulsive smell is hanging around with seemingly no explanation, there is a good chance that it is coming from the chimney. It may be an animal who has been living up there or it may simply be that creosote has built up over time. Regardless of the cause, it is a good idea to have a chimney professional inspect the problem and handle it for good.