Review Our Business
Schedule an appointment TODAY! 931-967-3595

Our Company Blog

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.

Reimagining Your Fireplace

Thinking of upgrading your fireplace and chimney system? What do you have in mind? A-1 Chimney Specialists can help you pick the best option suited to your taste and needs.

Thinking of upgrading your fireplace and chimney system? What do you have in mind? A-1 Chimney Specialists can help you pick the best option suited to your taste and needs.

If you feel it’s time to change the look of your living room, and you are tired of rearranging the furniture, have you considered upgrading your old fireplace to a new prefabricated chimney? We at A-1 Chimney Specialist are CSIA-certified specialists who are experts in helping you select the perfect factory-built fireplace or stove that will affordably update your unit, providing you warmth and beauty as well as adding value to your home if and when you choose to sell it. With a couple of choices of types and a vast assortment of styles to match your decor, call us at A-1 Chimney Specialist today to get started planning on reimagining your fireplace with a prefabricated unit installation.

A self-contained unit which sits in the opening of your original fireplace, a prefabricated chimney is installed with an inch of wood framing because there is no need for extra insulation. Ceramic tiles are inserted inside the firebox to help keep the heat out of the firebox, burning fuel efficiently and safely. You can choose which type of fuel you want to burn: wood or gas. Wood-burning prefabricated fireplaces are a bit more expensive to install because they require more venting as wood-burning needs outdoors air for combustion and ventilation.

Consider the benefits and disadvantages between a wood-burning and a gas-powered prefabricated fireplace before choosing which unit you would like to install. Although a wood-burning fireplace is a bit more expensive to build, the benefits are huge. Think of the scent of wood burning in your home. You will also get that cozy, romantic, soft light from a burning fire. A gas fireplace, however, is clean and simple. A gas line is installed by your fireplace which allows you to manually control the supply, the ignition, and the heat intensity with a switch. Typically, a gas-powered fireplace also lasts longer than a wood-burning one.

When it comes to the styles of a prefabricated fireplace, the sky is the limit! You can go contemporary with a clean face design that looks like a typical wall, traditional with a stone hearth, or even make a peninsula or an island fireplace for a truly modern look to your home. See-through fireplaces are becoming popular as are indoor/outdoor fireplaces. You will be surprised when you see the options you have available with prefabricated fireplaces.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, a factory-built, prefabricated fireplace is just as safe and efficient as a masonry fireplace. Proper usage and care is critical when you have this type of fireplace, so it’s important to know these guidelines:

  • Open the damper when starting a fire.
  • Do not overload your fireplace.
  • Close the screen and glass doors when burning a fire to keep sparks and flames from entering your home.
  • Never start a fire with a liquid fire accelerant.
  • Be sure to schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection.

Reimagining your fireplace is as simple as picking up the phone and calling A-1 Chimney Specialist today to schedule an appointment to talk to us about choosing the perfect prefabricated chimney for your home.