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How Do My Fireplace and Chimney Work?

Have you ever looked at your chimney or fireplace and wondered what exactly it is about them that requires professional services? It’s just a box with a hole at the top right? Actually, there is a lot more to your chimney than you may think. Understanding the basics of what each part of your fireplace and chimney does helps you know when to call for repairs much more easily. This is because, when you know how things are supposed to work, it is easier to identify when they aren’t operating right.

If you are interested in learning something new about your wood-burning fireplace, then you have come to the right place. We have gathered some key pointers for you to enjoy. Hopefully, by the end of this, you will have a better grasp of the mechanics behind your fireplace so you know when to call us for assistance.

5 Parts of Your Fireplace and What They Do

Here is a basic introduction to some of the key parts that make up your fireplace and your chimney.

  1. The Firebox: The firebox is also your fireplace. This is where the action happens. If you have a masonry chimney, this part of the fireplace is made with firebrick which should be able to withstand the heat of the wood-burning fire you have going on those cold Minnesota days and nights.
  2. The Damper: Your damper acts as a kind of barrier between your fireplace and your chimney. When the fireplace is dormant, your damper remains closed, keeping cold air out of your home. When the fire is roaring, your damper should be open to let smoke and gas up through the chimney and out of the house.
  3. The Smoke Chamber: Sitting above your damper but below your flue, the smoke chamber resembles an upside-down funnel and is included to encourage the flow of smoke and gas-filled air into the flue and out of the house.
  4. The Flue: We keep mentioning the flue but what is it? Well, it is a metal liner that goes inside of your brick chimney to protect the brickwork from things like creosote build-up that could create a fire hazard.
  5. The Cap and Screen: So you start up your fire, all the smoke and soot and gas goes through the open damper, past the smoke chamber, and up the flue to the…chimney cap? This last part may sound odd but it is actually pretty important. Your cap and, if you have one, chimney screen don’t hinder the ability of your chimney smoke to escape out of your home. Instead, your cap helps keep critters, leaves, and debris out of your chimney, keeping this part of your home the one-way path it should be.

As you can probably tell, your fireplace and chimney are built a specific way for a reason: to keep things working and keep you safe! That is why, when you notice a problem in your chimney or fireplace, you should reach out for a chimney inspection in St. Paul as soon as you can.

Reach out to 2nd Generation Chimneys now.


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