Today, you’ll probably see most houses have fireplaces and chimneys installed within them to keep them comfortable and warm, particularly in the winter season.
A chimney is a tunnel-like channel, which helps disperse or transfer smoke, flue gasses, and heat from fireplaces and stoves into the atmosphere. Chimneys redirect all the unwanted smoke and fumes into the open without releasing or spreading it inside your living space.
From an aesthetic and architectural point of view, chimneys serve a crucial function as aside from looking nice, they also make beautifully constructed homes look complete.
Types of Chimneys
Aside from the conventional brick chimneys that you’re used to seeing and hearing, there are many different chimney types found in multiple households. Some of the standard and most popular types of chimneys include:
Masonry Chimneys are considered the standard chimney type, typically built with cement, bricks, stone, blocks, or mortar. These chimneys are often accompanied by masonry fireplaces—simple indented walls where you generate fire on wood logs.
All the smoke and heat passes up the roof through a tunnel-like channel and then into the atmosphere. An impressive feature of masonry chimneys is that the bricks used in their construction can usually absorb heat, which comes in handy, especially in the winter since some of the heat absorbed radiates to other areas and keeps them warm.
Mason chimneys can last as long as your house as they’re very durable, but you must ensure regular cleaning, proper maintenance, and use the appropriate accessories. However, this type of chimney needs a super solid and concrete foundation during construction, as it usually weighs about 6 to 7 tons.
Metal chimneys are pretty similar to masonry chimneys, save for the fact that they take up lots of space, and the bigger versions may cost more than the latter chimney type. In addition, their aesthetic value isn’t as much as the of masonry chimneys.
Metal chimneys can either be double or triple-walled and are usually enclosed within a variety of casing types. They are often encircled within a sided frame, a masonry chimney case, or even a whole wooden structure to boost their appeal and aesthetic value.
Factory-Built/ Prefabricated Chimneys
Factory-built or prefabricated chimneys are more of the modern chimney types you will find in most modern houses. Their design is trendy and new and also comes with considerably innovatively designed fireplaces.
These chimneys received their name due to two main reasons. Firstly, the fireplace of this type of chimney is a firebox fabricated from shoot metals. Secondly, they are constructed or manufactured in factories before being sent to the homes or buildings where they’ll be installed. However, one essential thing to consider before installing factory-built or prefabricated chimneys is that its fireplace doesn’t fit all types of chimneys.
Factory-built chimneys can be an excellent choice, especially if you fancy a modern-looking design that will suit your home and also one that won’t leave you broke. Since this chimney type is easy to install and provides more freedom to homeowners in choosing their creative design, it’s a pretty popular option among them.
However, there is a major drawback to prefabricated chimneys— they aren’t very durable and will most likely not last you a lifetime. Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, the chimney parts of these factory-built or prefabricated chimneys will inevitably start aging, and you may be required to fix or replace them.
Fireplace Insert Chimneys
This type of fireplace chimney uses fireplace inserts, which are typically special types of wood stoves. They are specifically designed to fit perfectly in an open masonry fireplace. The stove is connected directly to the chimney top through the aid of a stainless steel liner system. These inserts are often inserted into an already existing masonry fireplace and are further attached to the chimney and the flue pointing outside.
Freestanding Stove Chimneys
Freestanding stove chimneys are a stove chimney type in which a freestanding stove is installed or inserted into a custom-built chimney. The type of chimney worked here can either be one of the prefabricated factory-built metal chimneys or masonry chimneys. Also, the chimneys are properly tested for their ability to be used alongside wood-burning appliances.
Wood-Burning Stove Chimneys
This type of chimney is possibly one of the most ancient types of chimneys commonly used in the 1800s. Wood-burning stove chimneys, as its name implies, burn wood to generate heat. They also include a stovepipe, which extends from the chimney’s base.
A lot of people confuse this chimney type with masonry chimneys when, on the contrary, they are totally different. The difference is that one can’t have the stovepipe directly through the roof in the latter’s case.
Interestingly enough, as ancient as wood-burning stove chimneys are, they seem to be making a comeback in the present times, given how energy cost is high.