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Q&A Corner fireplace with short chimney

Post in 'Questions and Answers' started by QandA, Oct 5, 2001.

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  1. QandA

    QandA New Member Staff Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    Question:

    Hi- A couple of years ago- I bought a house build in the 1940s that has a corner fireplace in the living room. When we bought the house- I had the fireplace inspected- and the guy said the chimney was too short. Sure enough- when we've tried to use the fireplace- it smokes up the whole house. I've had the chimney cleaned- so that's not the problem. I read the article about how to properly build a fire; I'll have to try the thing about checking if the chimney has reversed itself. (I don't think that's the problem- though; my method of building a fire is basically what was described- and I've never had this problem with other fireplaces.) Also- the fireplace is basically an open box in the corner of the living room- supported by a metal post on the corner that extends into the room. Basically: There is no insert or anything like that. There were some cheapo Home Depot glass doors installed- but they're so smoke stained and worn out that I'll probably just replace them. Anyway- here are some of the things I was thinking about doing to be able to use the fireplace:
    1. Hire a mason to extend the chimney- or rebuild the chimney from the roof up. Would this be overkill?
    2. Get an insert to try and make it more energy-efficient. Maybe add gas logs or something.
    3. The more drastic approach: remove the fireplace and chimney altogether- and put in a wood or pellet stove. What do you think? Any ideas on how much these sort of things cost? I have a feeling they're probably expensive- but it would be nice to be able to use the fireplace



    Answer:

    Basic problem is too much opening size for the chimney. Almost all fireplaces like this are prone to smoking. Extending the chimney a few feet will not solve the problem.Best Solution: Put a wood burning fireplace insert- with a stainless steel chimney liner extending 2 foot or so out the top of the chimney. Close off (with masonry- glass door- or metal) the smaller open side. You could also use a gas or pellet insert- but be sure to line the chimney so it drafts well.

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