The Main Parts Of A Typical Home Fireplace

When the winter chill sets in, there's nothing quite like curling up next to a roaring fire. Whether you have an old-fashioned wood-burning fireplace or a modern gas fireplace, having one at home can be incredibly cozy and comforting. 

But what parts constitute a practical home fireplace? Read on to learn more.

The Hearth

The hearth is the floor of your fireplace, typically made of brick or stone. It extends out from the actual firebox and must protrude at least a few inches into the room. The purpose of the hearth is to protect people from coming too close to an open flame. It sets a clear boundary between the fire and the rest of your living space. This area also absorbs heat and prevents it from radiating onto walls nearby. For this reason, it's important that your hearth is large enough for you to safely enjoy your fire without being too close to it. Plus, the hearth lets you store firewood and lay out your fireside decorations.

The Mantel

The mantel is usually made of wood or stone and sits above the opening of your fireplace. This serves as a decorative piece and a way to protect walls from heat emitted by your fireplace. Heat-resistant mantel materials, such as brick or stone, are best for this purpose.

The mantel is also great for displaying artwork, photographs, vases, and other decorative items. You can also hang stockings here during the holiday season or light candles for a cozy atmosphere. If you choose to hang artwork or other decorations around your mantel, make sure that they are placed far enough away so they don't get damaged by any heat that may radiate from the fire.

The Flue and Chimney

Your flue and chimney allow smoke and other combustion products produced by your fire to escape safely outdoors. The flue is a metal channel that's connected to the fireplace and extends up through your chimney, which is typically made of brick or stone. The flue must be regularly maintained and inspected to prevent smoke from entering your home. If the flue is blocked or faulty, deadly carbon monoxide could enter your living space.

Before installing the flue or the chimney, check with local building codes, as they vary depending on where you live. You should also have them inspected annually by a professional chimney sweep who can ensure that all components are properly functioning, clean, and free of creosote buildup. This will help keep your home safe from potential chimney fires, which could occur if not properly taken care of. 

Contact a local home fireplace service to learn more.