What is a chimney?

What is a fireplace? Most people would answer the question by pointing to their fireplace and saying, “Well, that’s it right there.” But that’s the simple response. In truth, your fireplace consists of several pieces working together.

  1. First you have the doors, which are usually glass but can also be metal. The doors close off the fireplace when it’s not in use. Their other function is to prohibit air flow when the fire is done.
  2. Next is the hearth, usually made of bricks or some other fireproof material.
  3. The walls around the hearth are protected by the surround.
  4. Inside the hearth is the firebox, which is where you light the fire.
  5. The smoke created by the fire travels up through the flue.
  6. The flue is protected by the chimney. The chimney is what keeps the heat generated by the fire from causing damage to your home.
  7. The flue and chimney are connected by the smoke chamber. A vital piece of the smoke chamber is the smoke shelf, which stops soot and other junk from coming back down into your fireplace.
  8. Underneath the smoke shelf is the damper. The damper is what keeps cold air from travelling down your chimney and into your home.
  9. Your roof is protected from harmful materials generated from a fire by the spark arrester.
  10. A chimney cap halts rodents and birds from setting up shop in your flue. The cap can also help prevent moisture or protect from excessive wind.

There you have it – not so simple, after all. And all those pieces take time to clean. Is your fireplace ready for the upcoming winter? If not, give us a call today!