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Fireplaces & Chimneys

Stylish wood-burning stone fireplace provides a central focal point in this contemporary living room.Attila / Shutterstock.com

Stylish wood-burning stone fireplace provides a central focal point in this contemporary living room.

Nothing quite matches the warmth and ambiance of flickering flames in a fireplace.

Bold mantle draws attention to this simple wood-burning fireplace.

On a cold day, a fire is the perfect focal point for reading a good book or enjoying quiet conversation. But wood-burning fireplaces have fallen under scrutiny in recent years because of concerns about carbon output and pollution caused by particulates in their smoke.

Fortunately, conventional wood-burning fireplaces have evolved to mitigate some of the air pollution problems associated with them. Today a variety of options are available that produce heat with much less pollution.

Combustion appliances and fixtures such as fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and furnaces must vent their smoke and other toxic combustion gases through a flue or chimney. Chimneys are designed to capture and carry smoke and hot gases up and away; traditional chimneys usually vent out the roof, but some of today’s high-efficiency fireplaces and other combustion appliances can vent out through a wall.

Here you will find helpful information for making fireplace buying decisions, as well as do-it-yourself information for fireplace care.

Conventional chimneys have traditionally been built of brick and mortar, lined with fireproof flue tiles, and capped with mortar to seal the top against weather. But today, newer, easier-to-install types of chimneys are made of metal and sold as prefabricated kits. These are much easier to build and, in the event of an earthquake or other disaster, are less likely to fall.

Brick Chimney Construction

Most chimneys handle their important job admirably, but a chimney that is in disrepair or is ill-maintained not only wastes energy but can also be a safety hazard. In this section of HomeTips, you will learn how to keep your home’s chimney in tip-top shape.

NEXT SEE:

• Fireplaces Buying Guide
• How Fireplaces Work

• Chimney Repairs

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Fireplace Pro


Fireplaces & Chimneys

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