Fire place

The Different Parts of a Fireplace That You Need to Know About

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Do you wish you knew more about how your fireplace works and operates? Whether you want to do some home repair, or are just curious, we have all the information you will need to learn the different parts of a fireplace.

A fireplace has long been the center of the home — the one thing that attracts every person in the house (especially on cold nights). If you have never owned a house with a fireplace before, then you might be curious about what specific type you own.

You also probably want to know all the different parts of a fireplace so you can operate it and maintain it. While fireplaces can be a great addition to any house, they can also be dangerous if they remain neglected.

As such, we recommend paying careful attention to all the different parts of a fireplace we list here. But, before we get started looking at the various components, let us first familiarize ourselves with the various types of fires typically found in most homes today.

What Are the Different Types of Fireplaces?

fire wood on fireplace

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Before we go over the different parts of a fireplace, it is essential that we discuss the various types of fireplaces you can get in your home. There are four main types of fireplaces. Chimney services classify the fireplaces according to what method of burning they use.

As such, there are standard wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces, ethanol fireplaces, and electric fireplaces. Each of these classifications comes with a variety of subsections that we will further explore.

Open Hearth


When you envision a traditional, old-school fireplace, then the open hearth model probably comes to your mind. People used these types of models frequently since the early 1700s. As such, they add an old-fashioned, but also authentic feel to the home they occupy.

Typically people use stone or brick when making these types of fireplaces which connects to a chimney ventilation system. They also give off a lot of heat; not only from the crackling wood but also from the heated stone itself.

Glass Enclosed Fireplace


Glass-enclosed fireplaces are much more prevalent in today’s modern homes. Typically these indoor models feature a glass enclosure separating the fire from the room. These types of fireplaces come with slightly more efficient heating methods than the open hearth model.

Since a glass barrier separates the fire from the chimney, you get less of a draft going through the room and out the chimney. As such, less heat escapes through the chimney, which gives the room a much cozier feel.

Fireplace Inserts


opened electric fireplace

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Fireplace inserts primarily work a premade models that fit into an opening created by a preexisting open hearth model. People use this feature when they want to make an inefficient design hearth system waste less heat when it operates.

Direct-Vented Fireplaces


A direct-vent fireplace is a gas-powered model that you can build either into an existing fireplace or install as a new one. The flame that comes with this fireplace produces a yellow color, so it feels a little more like a real fire.

Ventless Fireplaces


A ventless fireplace comes with a lot of convenience because it is a gas-powered fireplace that, unlike the direct-vented model, does not require a chimney.

However, it does feature a blue pilot light frame, which might detract from the “fire” experience for some people. But it adds the feel of a fireplace to the room.

Converted Fireplace


If you already have a fireplace but want to replace it with an ethanol power source, then you can easily install a converted fireplace insert. These types of converted fireplace allow you to change the look to something more traditional or something more modern.

Mounted Wall Fireplace


Specific models of fireplaces now hang from the wall! The new products function both as a source of warmth and the centerpiece of any room. It can easily replace the function of a wall-mounted big screen television.

Table Fireplace


As the name suggests, a table fireplace is a portable model that vary in size and function. They can be found both in indoor and outdoor models, and they come with a lot of conveniences. The most significant benefit is the fact that you can quickly move them from room to room depending on your needs.

Electric Mantel Fireplace


Today, there are also fireplaces that mimic the design of real fire. You can install these models, which give the characteristic appearance of a fireplace in your home. But, instead of any flame, it just produces a projection. The product is an illusion, but a pretty good one that is a lot safer than an actual fireplace.

Not all fireplaces need to come with a real fire. Today, many video programs simply feature a realistic, crackling fire. If you own an excellent enough television and sound system, then one of these entertainment center fireplaces can quickly feel like the real thing.

Why is There a Need for Fireplaces?

fire place

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It is true that with the introduction of modern heating, the practical usage of fireplaces has gone down. But, the home addition still packs some great benefits. First, there is the benefit of a cozy home with the familiar scent of burning wood.

A roaring fire on a winter night can make the icy months of December and January truly enjoyable. You can also save some money with a fireplace if you heat your home by a fire while turning off your heating system when you do not need it.

This way of heating is also better for the environment since it uses fewer fossil fuels. A fireplace is also a high back up in case the power dies in winter, and you need to heat the house. Plus, they add a lot of value to the home for style and design reasons.

What Are the Different Parts of a Fireplace?

long exposure photography of fireplace

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In this section, we will go over the various parts in a fireplace. Specifically, we will look at the traditional open hearth model. Some model designs differ from this version that we go over, but most designs utilize at least some form of it.

Traditional Open Hearth Model Parts


The traditional hearth starts with a foundation structural support that wraps around the ash pit. As the name suggests, the ash pit is the part of the fireplace that collects the ash. Located above the firebox, you can usually find the ash dump. The ash dump allows the ash received from the fire to fall into the pit.

Next, comes the fire pit doors. Some fire pits may not come with these doors, but usually, the company makes them out of glass, or a sheeted metal that wraps around the hole. These walls improve the retention of heat. The hearth is the extension of brick or stone in front of the fireplace.

The purpose of the hearth operates to prevent the spread of fire if it falls. A mantle is a decorative shelf that lies above the fireplace. The next part of the chimney, the damper, is vital.

The damper prevents hot air from escaping through the chimney and also keeps cold air from coming in through the vent. Above the damper lies the smoke chamber. The smoke chamber and its floor, also known as the smoke shelf compress the combustion while preventing a backdraft.

Next, comes the flute which transfers the heat and smoke up the chimney. Most flutes feature a liner that prevents the interior of the part from overheating.

Lastly, we come to the chimney crown. As you can guess, this part lies at the top of the chimney. Its function serves to keep any rain or moisture outside of the chimney.

Why It is Important to Know the Different Parts of A Fireplace

the barn basment had this fire place

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One of the main reasons people might look into fireplace parts is to repair or replace them. Some problems that arise with your fireplace or chimney can actually be taken care of reasonably quickly by yourself. However, if you want to repair them, then you most know about that various parts of your fireplace.

Still, there is an even greater reason you should know about the different parts of your fireplace. It is vital that you know when a problem arises with one of the parts of your fireplace. While you might not need the expertise to fix it, you need to identify it and take action before it becomes a severe problem.

If you do not know when something is wrong with one of the parts in your fireplace, then it can have potentially devastating effects. Things like indoor fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and explosions are some of the worst case scenarios that can result in severe injury or death.

As you can see, it is crucial that you possess a working knowledge of how the different parts of a fireplace work. We hope you walk away from reading this article with more knowledge regarding fireplace identification and an understanding of the various elements.


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