• Phone: 254-547-6087
  • Email: ableschimneys@gmail.com

This page is basically for us to communicate with our service customers here in Central Texas. When we ask what type of fireplace you have, it will help you to tell us what we are going to be looking at.

Most fireplaces around here come in 3 flavors. Use these pictures and descriptions to figure out what type of system you have so we can better ascertain what type you have. It is easier to answer questions if we know what type we are discussing.

Use these pictures and descriptions to figure out what type of system you have so we can better ascertain what type you have. It is easier to answer questions if we know what type we are discussing.

Use these pictures and descriptions to figure out what type of system you have so we can better ascertain what type you have. It is easier to answer questions if we know what type we are discussing.

1. Masonry fireplace.  This is what most people think a fireplace should look like. Made of brick or stone, it is the most common in older homes. It usually has a throat damper and a concrete crown. These are easily fitted with glass doors. The chimney on a masonry fireplace is usually made of red terra cotta tile with a common size of 13″x13″ or 13″x 18″.

This fireplace (left) has a chimney like this (right.)

Or, this fireplace (left) can have a chimney like this (right.)

2. Some fireplaces have metal fireboxes  commonly made by Superior, Heatilator, PreWay, Marco, Marten and a few others. These are usually recognized by grills near the floor and higher up on the wall or on the sides of the fireplace. The fireplaces can have fansto draw in the cooler air near the floor and  circulate it around the metal envelope surrounding the firebox. As convection circulates it the heated air is vented out the upper vents adding needed warmth to the home. These are called prefab fireplaces. They are small units and are built in a factory. Due to stringent testing and design they can be placed directly adjacent to wooden framing members. This allows the freedom of location you do not have in a masonry fireplace.
These units are fitted with metal chimneys to vent the smoke. It has a metal cap and usually but not always exits the roof inside a wooden chase covered on top with a galvanized steel chase cover. Some are housed in a regular brick and mortar chase with a cement crown.

The problem with these units is the manufacturers are mostly out of business. Lennox has bought a lot of the companies and getting parts are nearly impossible. To locate the type you have the nameplate is usually on the right hand facing of the fireplace just behind the screen (see photo below.)

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The chimney below is venting a prefab fireplace. Special attention must be paid to the chase cover. They are usually done in galvanized steel which will last about 7 years before rusting and leaking causing great damage. We commonly replace them with lifetime warranted stainless steel chase covers.

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The chase (below) can be surrounded by any type of building material from siding to brick.

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3. Fireplace insert.  This is a specially adapted woodstove designed to be vented into an existing fireplace.

Big problem – it is extremely dangerous to vent one of these into a fireplace. Everybody does it but you are putting your life in your own hands. Whenever we clean these we strongly recommend the owner have his chimney relined to be safe. The reason is explained here. It is extremely dangerous not to do so. This is a very dirty and difficult job to do.

Some of the names of inserts we see are Ashley, Earth Stove, Lopi, Country Flame and others. In order to clean these properly they must be pulled from the fireplace as we did the one above on the left. We get from 20 to 65 gallons of creosote out of insert chimneys. That creosote is just waiting to catch fire and make your life exciting for about 15 minutes.

4. Woodstove.  This is a free standing woodstove. It has it’s own metal chimney and can be placed almost anywhere in the home. There are many different brands of stoves around, some old and some new. In the recent past they all had catalytic burners that took the smoke and burned it again to extract more heat. That worked fine but it also made the units prone to failure when the catalyst failed after 3-5 years. Those puppies are expense to replace. Now stoves are designed to reburn the smoke without the need for the expensive catalytic burner. But it has many more areas for creosote to build up.

We recommend wood stoves be cleaned annually due to the the chimney make up. Most are air cooled chimneys. This means the chimney is in two or three layers. The inside stainless steel flue is surrounded by two more chambers that allow air to circulate through and keep the outer pipe cool enough to pass through the roof and ceiling. To reduce buildup the chimney must stay warm. It can not if it is air cooled. Therefore these types of chimneys need to be cleaned often in order to stay safe.

 

This is a demo store to show customers what items we are able to supply them. If you want to order anything listed....please contact us by email at ableschimneys@gmail.com with your needs and we can arrange to have an item shipped to you.