Types of Fireplaces
Types of FiA fireplace may have: a foundation, a hearth, a firebox, a fireplace mantel, an ashdump door, a chimney crane, a cleanout door, a grate, a lintel, a lintel bar, overmantel, a chimney breast, a damper, a smoke chamber, a throat, a flue, a chimney chase, a crown, a cap, a shroud, or a spark arrestor.
• Reinforced concrete chimneys. Fundamental flaws (the difference in thermal expansion rates between steel rebar and concrete which caused the chimney flues to crack when heated) bankrupted the US manufacturers and obsoleted the technique. This type of chimney often shows vertical cracks on the exterior of the chimney which worsen as the internal rebar rusts.
• Manufactured (”prefab”) fireplace with sheet metal fire box and double or triple walled metal pipe running up inside a new or existing wood framed or masonry chase with a chase cover, a cap, and spark arrestor at the top to keep small animals out and sparks from exiting the chimney cavity. This type of fireplace is very popular for new construction for ease of installation and is very cost effective. This type of fireplace is currently being made for wood, natural gas, biomass and lp/propane fuel sources.
• Ventless Fireplace (duct free fireplace) that are fueled by either gel, LP/bottled gas or natural gas. Some states and local counties have laws and ordinances regarding these types of fireplaces. They require little installation and do not use the same BTUs as a traditional fireplace. The gas burning version of a vent free fireplace while using less BTU’s worth of fuel, burn that fuel at close to 100% efficiency, making them very powerful heaters. This being the case, before purchasing a gas burning vent free appliance make sure to size it according to the cubic feet of the area it is going to be installed in. Aside from the heat output there are also air quality control issues due to the amount of moisture they release into the room air.