Fireplace Knowledge Base

Knowing the names and parts of your chimney and fireplace will definitely help you understand your venting system and keep it maintained. Below is a list of common chimney parts and a brief description:


The chimney flue is the passageway smoke travels up and exits the chimney.

Flue Lining

The flue lining is the interior lining of a masonry chimney. This lining protects your chimney walls from heat and corrosion.  The Flue can be made of terracotta or metal usually.

Chimney Damper

The chimney damper is the movable door that prevents downdrafts when there is no fire in the fireplace.

Chimney Crown

The chimney crown covers the top opening of the chimney. The chimney crown covers the entire top of the chimney and are essential for stopping moisture from getting inside your home.

Chimney Cap

One of the most inexpensive ways to prevent chimney damage is to have a chimney cap installed. They keep water, animals, and debris from entering the flue of your chimney.  These are also commonly referred to as spark arresters.

Smoke Shelf

The smoke shelf’s job is to deflect downdrafts and prevent rain from penetrating the chimney. It is located at the bottom of the smoke chamber which connects the flue and the fireplace.


The firebox is the formal name for the inside of the fireplace. This is where you build a fire. The firebox is usually made of firebrick and is designed to withstand heat.


The hearth is the floor of the fireplace. The hearth provides a fireproof area to build a fire.

Hearth Extension

The hearth extension is the part of the fireplace that projects out into the room that people commonly sit or kneel on.

Fireplace Doors

Having doors that open and close on your fireplace is an excellent way to keep air from going up the chimney and provide an added protection against cold air entering the room when you don’t have a fire burning.

Ash Dump Door

Small door in the bottom of a masonry chimney that you can sweep your ashes into, and then clean out during the spring.

Clean Out Door

Door on the outside of your masonry chimney where you can get to the ashes that you swept away during the winter.

Fireplace Grate

Metal grate that holds your firewood off the floor so that it can get the oxygen that it needs to make a more complete burn.

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