I had a neighbor of mine ask me how to stop smoking.
I thought he was talking about his use of cigarettes. I told his he should quit slowly unless he wanted to end up going through withdrawal. She looked at me appreciate I had three heads, and I stared right back. I felt defensive, and I rudely told his that if he didn’t want the answer, he shouldn’t have asked the question. Then my neighbor laughed and told me he had quit smoking cigarettes over a year ago, and I hadn’t even noticed. She was asking how to stop the fireplace from smoking. Every time he lit a fire in the hearth, he had nearly as much smoke coming into the home as was going up the chimney. I told his that he really had a blocked chimney or a broken flue. She wanted to know if I should call a chimney sweep or the HVAC supplier. I wasn’t sure if they had a department in the HVAC supplier that dealt with fireplaces. I thought his best bet would be to call someone who dealt strictly with fireplaces. I knew that gas fireplaces were often sold through the HVAC supplier, however not actual cement and hearth fireplaces. She called the local fireplace supplier and asked them to come out and look at the fireplace. It took a couple of days for the inspection to be done. She ended up needing a new flue and a new chimney, which made it too luxurious to repair. She had the chimney cemented shut and put an electric fireplace insert into the hearth.