Types of Fireplace Chimneys
Masonry Fireplace Chimneys: A masonry chimney is generally constructed on-site by brick masons using brick or stone, cement block, mortar, and clay flue tiles for liners.
Factory-Built Fireplace Chimneys: A factory-built chimney is a chimney manufactured in a factory and assembled at the site. It has a metal flue pipe system to vent smoke out of the house. Factory-built fireplaces are smaller and some have blowers built in. All factory-built fireplaces are UL-Rated. Factory-built or “prefab” fireplaces generally have a firebox of cast refractory panels, and usually some metal is visible in the room all around the firebox. If you look up past the damper, you will see a round metal chimney. Most notably, when looking at the fireplace chimney from the outside of the home, these types of fireplaces have chases constructed much like that of the home itself. (i.e. bat and board, siding, stucco, etc.)
Fireplace insert Chimneys: Fireplace inserts are a special type of wood stove and are specifically designed to fit into an open masonry fireplace. Since the insert must be smaller than the fireplace opening, there is usually a surround panel attached to the stove which extends out around the fireplace opening to seal the firebox from room air. A stainless steel liner system should directly connect to the stove to the top of the chimney. Many do not.
Types of Stove Chimneys
Freestanding stove chimneys: Freestanding stoves can be connected to chimneys built especially for them. The chimneys may be of masonry construction or be a factory-built metal system that’s been designed, tested and listed for use with wood burning appliances. Freestanding stoves can also connect to an existing fireplace chimney, if the height and position of the stove’s flue collar permits it. When this type of installation is done, the stoves may be called hearth stoves.
NOTE Some types of chimneys are designed only for appliances that burn certain fuels. It could be disastrous to connect a woodstove to a chimney that is designed only for a certain type of fireplace. Also, any adaptations to your fireplace, i.e. glass doors, chimney caps, etc. should be approved by the manufacturer.