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Anatomy Of A Chimney

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Troubleshooting Your Fireplace

There could be many reasons that your fireplace isn’t functioning correctly, and we want to help you solve the problem. Below is a list of potential issues and their respective solutions. Note that this list of problems/solutions is simplified, and a correct understanding of fireplaces requires an expert-level knowledge of airflow patterns.

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Knowing the names and parts of your chimney and fireplace will help you understand your system and keep it maintained. Below is a list of common chimney parts and a description:


The flue is the passageway smoke travels up and exits the chimney.

Flue Lining

The flue lining is the interior lining of a masonry chimney. This lining protects your chimney walls from heat and corrosion.

Chimney damper

The chimney damper is the moveable door that prevents downdrafts when there is no fire in the fireplace.

Chimney crown

The chimney crown covers the top opening of the chimney. Unlike chimney caps, the chimney crown covers the entire top of the chimney. They are essential because they protect the chimney structure from water exposure.

Chimney cap

One of the most inexpensive ways to prevent chimney damage is to have a chimney cap installed. They keep water, animals, and debris from entering the flue of your chimney.

Smoke shelf

The smoke shelf’s job is to deflect downdrafts and prevent rain from penetrating the chimney. It is located at the bottom of the smoke chamber which connects the flue and the fireplace.


The firebox is the formal name for the inside of the fireplace. This is where you build a fire. The firebox is usually made of firebrick and is designed to withstand heat.


The hearth is the floor of the fireplace. The hearth provides a fireproof area to build a fire.

Fireplace doors

Having doors that open and close on your fireplace is an excellent way to keep air from going up the chimney and provide an added protection against cold air entering the room when you don’t have a fire burning.

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