North End Fireplaces – Parts of a Fireplace

We at North End Fireplaces are dedicated to giving homeowners the best and most relevant advice and information about all things fireplaces.

types of fireplaces

A fireplace is usually a brick structure used in the cold countries to produce fire and thereby keep the inhabitants at a comfortable temperature for carrying out daily activities of life. They create a relaxing ambience and keep the room heated.

Modern fire places are different from the traditional ones as gas and electricity are used as the heating agents in place of the traditional wood. Important parts of a fireplace are explained one by one.


Hearth is the stone lined and it formed an integral part of homes in the cold countries for centuries. In the medieval days the hearth was located in the middle point of a hall. The smoke from the hearth rises and goes out through the smoke hole. The position of the hearths shifted to the side of the room with chimney.


The place where fuel is combusted for producing heat in a fireplace is known as firebox. Usually it is located on a masonry base at the floor of the room.

There are larger fireboxes in which a person can easily walk inside or a small meeting could be held using built-in benches.


Flue is a duct through which the exhaust gases from the fireplace escapes to the outdoors. They are also known as vents in connection with boilers and breaching when used with water heaters.

As the exhaust gas contains poisonous carbon monoxide, proper draft and providing of replacement air are imperative.  The flue operates on the principle of buoyancy.



The chimney provides ventilation for smoke or flue gases from the fireplace to the outside air. They are often vertical or nearly vertical as far as possible.

The chimney also helps the smooth flowing out of the smoke and allows air to be drawn for continuing the combustion process. This process is known as stack/chimney effect. It’s important to remember to sweep your chimney so that it is safe to use and works properly. One chimney sweep we like to use and recommend and use in Chicagoland area is Early Times Home Solutions for a thorough chimney sweeping.

Smoke Chamber

Smoke chamber constitutes the area above the firebox and below the flue lined with terracotta tiles. This area is intended for the smoke to mix and rise up to the exit for flowing out.


Damper is located in the masonry chimney just above the firebox.  This damper is used to seal the fireplace when not in use.  This helps other heated air not to enter and escape through the chimney when fireplace is inactive.

Spark Arrester

This is a metal mesh provided at the top of the flue for preventing the burning materials to go out of the firebox and reach the roof.

Chimney Cap

Chimney cap of different style and shape are available. They are used to prevent moisture and animals entering the chimney.

Ash Dump

This is a special trap door provided for pushing the accumulated ashes into a pit situated directly below it.  This ash is removed at a later convenient time.

Fireplace Doors

Fireplace doors are provided at the bottom to shut down the flow of air when the fireplace is not in use. They are either made of glass or steal.