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Prefab Chimneys & Fireplaces F.A.Q.

Don't know whether to get a prefabricated or a traditional fireplace and chimney? These FAQs can help you decide.

Don’t know whether to get a prefabricated or a traditional fireplace and chimney? These FAQs can help you decide.

If you are wanting to add a fireplace to your home, one of your best choices is to go with a prefabricated chimney and fireplace. A factory-built fireplace is designed and manufactured according to engineers’ plans, and many choose to install a prefabricated chimney because they are affordable, safe, and come in many different styles and decors. A-1 Chimney Specialist has been installing prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces for years. We carry a variety of options, and our technicians are trained and experienced in adding on a factory-built fireplace. Many customers have asked us questions about this type of fireplace, and we would like to share these questions and answers provided by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

What are prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces?

A complete system designed to work safely and efficiently together, a prefabricated chimney and fireplace both undergo testing together and are made to be specifically used together. Made of metal, a factory-built fireplace also can use a combination of insulated walls, glass doors, pipes, and blowers to circulate the heat from the fireplace using two different methods to provide heat to the entire house. One way is the standard radiant heat method, which can be limited as the heat is strictly generated from the fire in the fireplace. The other method, circulating air, uses vents with louvers and blowers to move the air along the walls to pick up heat, which is forced back into the home.

What is the difference between a traditional and a factory-built fireplace?

Not requiring the concrete foundation needed for a masonry fireplace, a prefabricated fireplace is much lighter. Also, the back of a factory-built fireplace can be placed closer to combustible materials than a masonry fireplace because of their insulation and cooling spaces built into the unit.

What are some safety tips about using a prefabricated fireplace?

Always keep the damper open when having a fire. Never overload the fireplace with wood. Close the screen to protect yourself from sparks. Never start a fire with any liquid fire starters. Do not install a wood stove inside your factory-built fireplace. Always have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a professional chimney company, like A-1 Chimney Specialist.

How long will a prefabricated chimney and fireplace last?

Built to last for years, a factory-built fireplace reaches the end of its life when repairs are no longer possible. Having your chimney swept and inspected annually will greatly prolong its life.

Where can a prefabricated chimney and fireplace be installed?

The reduced clearance between the fireplace and combustible materials makes it possible for this type of fireplace to have a wide range of possibilities for its placement.

Can I have a gas log installed inside my factory-built fireplace?

Yes, but your fireplace must have a knock-out to install a gas log lighter bar. The fireplace must be listed to use with solid fuel only, and its listing cannot specifically exclude installation of gas log sets. However, you should remember that vent-free gas log sets should never be installed in a prefabricated fireplace, unless the manufacturer specifically okays it.

If you have any more questions about prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces, contact A-1 Chimney Specialist today. Our experienced staff is happy to answer any questions you have.