Question: My house was built in 1945 (in the Northeast) and originally was heated by a coal stove/furnace. Now that I am looking to buy a woodburning stove, could my chimney (which used to be the coal chimney) be upgraded/cleaned/brought up to spec, or should I just cut a hole up through the roof and install a new aluminum chimney? I'm concerned about the cost but also about efficiency, and possible future problems. ...if I do bring it up to spec, will there be the possibility of more, future problems with the old chimney rather than the new aluminum pipe chimney? if the old one is fixed properly, and the new one is installed well, would one be better, more efficient than the other? Answer: If your masonry chimney is fairly sound, it might be just as good to use it. If you line it with a stainless steel pipe it will be as safe--or safer than a new factory built chimney. However, you may need that flue if you are going to install an oil or gas furnace. Assuming you do not need it for a furnace, go ahead and upgrade it. When comparing the two, consider the chimney height also. An insulated class A chimney might be reasonable if it only goes up through a roof or attic, but they can get expensive when going up through more than one story..or outside the house and up.