Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

The Different Types of Chimneys


The fireplace chimney is the component of the system that pulls hot air through the firebox and out of the house. It also provides the fire with air. There are many types of chimneys and masonry and manufactured are the most common. Each type has unique advantages and homeowners should review these prior to selecting a new chimney for the house.

The different types of chimneys for your home

A masonry chimney is made from brick, stone, or a similar material and lined with clay tile to hold these materials together. A flue lining made from baked clay increases safety and makes cleaning an easy process for a qualified chimney sweep. A manufactured chimney is created in a factory and transported to the installation location. It is usually made from metal, must be used with solid fuel heat, and does not require a liner.

A mass-insulated, double-walled chimney features insulation between two metal layers. Heat is absorbed by the insulation and the metal layers contain the heat that is not absorbed by the insulating material. An air-cooled chimney contains nothing but air between the two layers of metal. Circulation of air helps to dissipate the heat. An air-insulated chimney looks similar, but it restricts air movement and insulates the heat.

Some chimneys incorporate different aspects of each type of manufactured chimney, resulting in a hybrid design. Manufactured chimneys are less expensive than masonry versions but they require use of factory-built fireplaces. Most fireplaces typically work with only one type of chimney. To learn more about this, the homeowner should consult with a professional chimney sweep.

Installing the wrong type of chimney can break the fireplace or cause a house fire. It is better to rely on expert guidance than to guess during chimney selection or installation. Whether the chimney is being replaced or a new chimney is being installed during new construction, consult with a professional prior to making any decisions.

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