Understanding the Anatomy of a Chimney
You use your chimney almost every day during the fall and winter; it’s like an old friend who is always there for you. But have you ever wondered how a chimney works? What are the parts that let a chimney do what it does? If you have ever wondered- here is a guide to understanding the anatomy of a chimney.
What Type of Fireplace Do You Have?
The type of chimney you have is dependent on the type of fireplace you have. Is your fireplace a masonry fireplace that is made from bricks or stones with mortar? If you have a factory-built fireplace, it is probably made of stainless steel. In some cases, hybrid fireplaces and chimneys have elements of factory-built fireplaces and masonry.
Understanding the Anatomy of Your Chimney
Like a car or computer, the components of your chimney can vary. Factory-built fireplace chimneys are straightforward; they are made to optimize the performance of your fireplace with a better burn and drafting. Masonry chimneys are more common and have a number of components. Some of the more common chimney components are-
The Chimney Throat
This part of your chimney is at the bottom, where smoke is initially drafted upwards.
The Smoke Shelf
This is a flat surface near your chimney’s throat that serves the purpose of keeping leaves, needles, and debris in your fireplace’s firebox.
The Smoke Chamber
From your chimney’s throat, smoke rises upwards into the smoke chamber. The smoke chamber has a funnel or pyramid shape to usher smoke upwards into the flue.
The Chimney’s Flue
The flue is a long tube that smoke rises through and makes up most of your chimney.
The damper is a movable piece made of metal that closes your chimney’s flue when your fireplace isn’t in use. It keeps warm air from escaping and frigid air from seeping into your home. It also acts as a bulwark against birds, bats, rats, and other wildlife that may want to invade your home.
The Chimney Crown or Chase Cover
At your chimney’s crown (or top) is a cover. If you have a masonry chimney, it will be a crown; a factory-built fireplace chimney will be a chase cover. Both the crown and chase cover slope downwards to direct water away from the flue.
The Chimney Cap
If you’ve ever seen a piece of metal on top of a chimney that looks like a hat, then you’ve seen a chimney cap. Its function is self-apparent; it is there to minimize the amount of rain, snow, or hail that gets into your chimney. It’s almost always attached to the chimney via a wire mesh cage to keep debris and wildlife out.
A Final Thought
Now that you are familiar with the anatomy of your chimney, you understand how important it is to have it serviced regularly; annually in summer is the best way to go about it. Use a qualified chimney sweep service to do the job.
Allow Mercer County Chimney Services to Maintain Your Chimney
If you are in the greater Mercer County area, including Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Chesterfield, and Allentown, and want a certified chimney sweep to maintain your chimney, call us at 609-802-5288 or complete our simple contact form, one of our fireplace chimney specialists will be happy to set up a time when our experienced and knowledgeable chimney sweeps can come to your home.