The Top 20 Terms for Chimneys and Fireplaces

It is important to know what is being discussed if a contractor or repairman comes over to take a look at the chimney and fireplace. There are a few key terms that might be discussed. Take a look at some of the most important fireplace terms and chimney terms below!

Common Jargon and Terminology When Discussing Chimneys and Fireplaces

Some of the most common terms that people might hear include:

  1. Cap: This is the roof of the chimney and it protects the flue. There is a metal top that keeps precipitation from entering the chimney.
  2. Crown: The crown extends from the flue pipe to the boundary of the chimney. It also extends a few inches past the masonry to maintain the construction.
  3. Flue: The flue is the shaft. This is used to vent smoke away from the building. It is on the inside of the chimney structure and travels from the smoke chamber to the crown.
  4. Flue Liner: This is a liner that protects the masonry against the hazardous chemicals that flow through the flue.
  5. Masonry: When someone refers to the masonry of the chimney, they are talking about the bricks (or other materials) used to design it.
  6. Smoke Chamber: This is just above the firebox and below the entrance to the flue. Here, smoke mingles with the heat. It rises up the flue thanks to the draft created by the fire. There is a shelf that prevents smoke from falling back into the fireplace and polluting the home.
  7. Damper: This is a metal plate the is used to open and close the flue.
  8. Firebox: This is another term for the fireplace and this is where the fire burns.
  9. Hearth: The hearth is the floor of the fireplace and it usually extends about 18 inches from the opening of the fireplace itself.
  10. Ash Dump: While not all fireplaces have this, this is a pit that is beneath the firebox. It is used to hold ash that can be removed from the firebox via a trap door.
  11. Foundation: This is the base upon which the chimney sits. Foundation problems can cause the chimney to lean to one side.
  12. Prefabricated: This is a chimney that has been built ahead of time and then shipped to the home for installation.
  13. Updraft: This is a stream of air that is required to move smoke and heat up from the chimney, into the flue, and out of the home.
  14. Downdraft: This is a stream that moves in the opposite direction and is common when the air is cold outside.
  15. Fuel: This is whatever the fireplace burns to generate heat. Common sources include gas and wood.
  16. Chimney Sweep: This is a routine service that is used to clean the chimney thoroughly from top to bottom.
  17. Creosote: This is a common chemical that is produced when fireplaces burn. It needs to be removed from the chimney on a regular basis.
  18. Inspection: This is an annual check of the chimney that takes place to ensure it is both safe and efficient.
  19. Seasoning: This is a term used to describe firewood that has been cut split, and stored for a few months to dry properly before it burns.
  20. Flashing: These are sheets of metal installed around the chimney where it meets the roof to ensure it is waterproof.

Call Today for Fireplace Education!

These are a few of the common fireplace terms and chimney terms that someone might hear regarding a chimney or fireplace. Call us today for more fireplace education!


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