Here’s Important Terminology about your Chimney and Fireplace System

Your chimney and fireplace system consists of different components that work together to provide you with warm and cozy fires. When something goes wrong with your fireplace, it candictionary be helpful to know the names of those components when you start troubleshooting the problem. For over 40 years, Chim Cheree has been proud to serve the Upstate South Carolina region with our superior professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services, and our team loves to share our chimney knowledge with our customers. We feel strongly that the more you know about your chimney and fireplace system, the more you will be able to enjoy it, which is why we would like to share with you a glossary of chimney terminology to help you better understand your system.


  • Ash Dump – Located at the bottom of your fireplace, this is an opening where ashes can be dumped. Most of these openings will be covered by a door that can be opened and closed.
  • Ash Pit – Typically quite large, this is a storage compartment for ashes located beneath the ash dump. You should see an access door that allows you to periodically clean out the ashes
  • Baffle – This object or plate can be installed in your fireplace or stove to help you burn more efficiently by changing the direction of flue gases.
  • Chimney Connector – This component is a pipe that connects your fireplace to the chimney. Most connectors are made from galvanized steel, stove black pipe, or a double-walled pipe system.
  • Damper – Often located at the top of your fireplace, the damper is a metal plate with a handle that can be opened or closed to control the flow of air, smoke, and gases in the chimney. You may have a top-mounted damper that is located at the very top of the chimney and also serves as a chimney cap.
  • Firebox – This refers to the location of your actual fire. If you have a masonry chimney, your firebox is generally built with firebricks that have been designed to stand up to the extremely high temperatures produced by a fire. If you have a prefabricated chimney, your firebox is likely to consist of metal refractory panels that can also withstand high heat.
  • Fireplace Insert – This is a gas, wood, pellet, or coal heating appliance that is designed to fit inside a masonry fireplace and can be a great option to make your home more energy-efficient.
  • Smoke Shelf – Located at the point where the back wall of the firebox arches forward, the smoke shelf intersects your firebox with the smoke chamber and the base of the flue. If you have a traditional throat damper, it will be found on the front side of the smoke shelf.
  • Thimble – This term refers to a ring, tube, or lining that is typically found in the hole where the chimney connector goes through a wall into the chimney. The thimble can be either removable or fixed into place.
  • Throat – This term is the opening above the fireplace where combustion gases pass from the firebox to the chimney.


  • Chimney Chase – If you have a prefabricated chimney, the chimney chase is the structure that is built around the metal flue pipes. Typically constructed with wood or steel studs, the chase can have an exterior of wood or aluminum siding, brick/stone veneer, or stucco.
  • Chimney Cap – Recommended as the most economical preventive method against water penetration by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a chimney cap is located at the top of the chimney to protect your home from water from rain and melted ice and snow as well as from birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other wild animals. Manufactured from copper, stainless steel, and other galvanized metals, a chimney cap may also help your chimney to have a better draft performance.
  • Chimney Cricket – Also known as a saddle, the chimney cricket is a metal ridge that extends to the slope of the roof from the back of your chimney to keep water away from the area where the chimney meets the roof.
  • Chimney Crown – Made of concrete or other masonry materials, the crown sits at the top of the chimney to keep water out of the flue. Your crown should have a slope away from the center to best protect your chimney.
  • Chimney Liner – One of the most important components of your system, the liner protects your home from heat transfer and combustion gases. It can also provide a correctly sized flue for a fireplace insert. Made of clay tiles, metal, or concrete, your liner should be repaired or replaced if any cracks, holes, or other damage is found to ensure your safety.
  • Flashing – Consisting of metal sheeting wrapped around your chimney where it meets the roof, flashing protects this vulnerable area from water leaks.
  • Flue – This term refers to the passage that exhausts gases out of your home through the chimney.
  • HeatShield – If you have a clay tile chimney liner, HeatShield is an economical way to restore the integrity of the liner. Chim Cheree The Chimney Specialists has been factory-trained to use this product to professionally repair damaged mortar joints and to resurface cracked or spalled flues.
  • Supaflu – Another method to repair clay tile chimney liners, we are also trained to use this cast-in-place liner product to restore the safety and efficiency of your chimney and fireplace system. When we reline your chimney with Supaflu, we will also construct and install a new crown on the top of your chimney.

Chim Cheree hopes that this glossary of chimney terminology will come in handy for you this winter. Any questions? Contact us today at our office in Greer, SC. We are always here for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

By David Kline | Tagged with: Tags: , , , |