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Constructing a fireplace that draws correctly seems to be quite difficult at lakeside. Anyone doing their own construction should confirm with their Maestro that he uses someone who does it right. We used Luis on Zaragoza in Ajijic as he was suggested as one of the few who actually did it right and sure enough, he did. Not sure if he is still there but probably so. Lived west of Juarez on the north side of Zaragoza. Inquire locally, they will know if he's around.

OP might possibly be able to find someone who could correct the bad draw but sorry, that's above my knowledge level.

Just remembered Luis' last name......Romero

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Sounds like you haven't  much of an updraft in your chimney. Check for  chimney blockage first using a mirror and shining a flashlight on the mirror to view the interior of the chimney all the way to the top. A blockage could be caused by nests or chimney material having came loose. Few chimneys here have liners which can be a reason also.   

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bmh is correct the chimney should be a min. of 2 ft. above the highest pick of the house. When shorter you may have a downdraft over powering the needed updraft created by the heat. You have what is called spillage of carbon monoxide into the house. BAD, BAD. Have to tell you, don't use it until fixed.

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Appreciate all your comments.. 

Chimney does have a shelf so i cant see up it.only had four or five fires in 5 years. Chimney is about a metre from top of the roof.been burning those fake logs where apparently arent killers but still smoke.

Maybe because chimney was cold the updraft wasnt clever.i remember putting news paper to breeze it years ago. Might try that but will try and find luis romero for advice.

Still would like a enclosed fire though. Very small fire place maybe 20 inches wide.

 

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Yes a " cold chimney" is the problem regardless of the cause either the chimney being to short above the roof or to much % of the chimney above the roof besides partial blockage. Height of chimney must be 2 ft. above the HIGHEST point of the entire roof. As an example, with a hip or gable roof the chimney exposure above the roof might be, not 2 ft. ,but 4 to 10 ft. or more, hence more possibility of a cold chimney, also let us not forget if the chimney roof exit is too close to a neighboring building that is taller than your roof line and fairly close to your home, same thing, downdraft causing the dreaded COLD CHIMNEY. Hope this will help with some insight as to most of the potential  problems you are experiencing. Oh yea one last possible culprit that would add to your problem that I also have not seen here is a chimney liner again a cause of the COLD chimney. Hope this helps you.   Good Luck

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You could make it worse, by restricting the draft with glass doors.  The fireplace need a suficient source of air to provide draft.  You could try adding some height to your chimney and even adding a wind cap, which would prevent direct downdraft, as well as rain, from entering the top of the chimney.  Yes, that higher neighboring house could also be the culprit in certain wind directions.

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