Stoves and fireplaces are often referred to as the soul of the home. And since a fireplace is unthinkable without fire and wood, it is important to install it and the chimney correctly so that the fireplace is safe and gives you pleasant moments.
Principle of operation
For kindling the fireplace, fuel is used (ordinary firewood, pressed coal briquettes and even fuel oil), which must be ignited. The fuel ignites quite quickly and at the same time heats the air around, but during combustion, carbon dioxide is released from the fuel in large quantities. Long ago, our ancestors figured out how to get rid of it: build chimneys. Then, according to the laws of physics, hot carbon dioxide will rise upward, and an inflow of fresh and cold air from a room rich in oxygen will be created to the fire in its place. The phenomenon of air change in a room is called draft; it is also used in ventilation systems in apartment buildings.
It is simple to check how the chimney works: with the fireplace turned off, bring a burning match, lighter or just a thin paper strip to the chimney opening and pay attention to the behavior of the fire or paper. With correct operation, the flame will be directed towards the chimney, with insufficient draft, you will not see noticeable fluctuations, but if the flame goes towards the room (from the chimney), then this is a reverse draft. This means that all the carbon monoxide goes back into the room, which is very dangerous for people in the room. This chimney must not be used! But a strong draft will bring all the heat out into the street, practically without heating the house.
It is important to build fireplaces so that the fire is at a safe distance for people and flammable objects, and carbon monoxide cannot get into the room, all goes into the chimney. Then both the fireplace and the chimney will be safe enough.
What materials are chimneys made of?
In order for the pipe to work correctly and serve as an exhaust hood, the chimney is made vertical and airtight, sufficiently high and durable, fire-resistant and fireproof from chemically resistant materials. There are many options suitable for making a chimney and fireplace, but each has its own characteristics that must be taken into account when choosing. Traditional materials are brick, ceramics and steel, less often polymer chimneys and glass structures are used.
Solid brick is characterized by high heat resistance, with proper installation and maintenance, it can last for more than 10 years. Sometimes they use special non-flammable stones (non-silicate products). But this beautiful material has its drawbacks:
- A deeper foundation is required;
- Correct design and laying of bricks requires special skills and knowledge, therefore, specialists are often hired, their services are quite expensive, and the brick itself is an order of magnitude more expensive;
- Subsequent care and cleaning of the chimney is more difficult due to the square shape of the pipe. Soot and ash settling on the walls can interfere with traction;
- Condensation is the main enemy of brickwork, which destroys the walls of the chimney and harms the draft.
With high-quality cleaning and careful operation, the service life of ceramics (about 30 years) can be extended by 10 years. What else is ceramics good for?
- The price of a ceramic chimney is inferior to a stone one;
- Relatively easy installation due to the device and installation features (ceramic chimneys are assembled from a pipe and a concrete base), do not require an additional foundation;
- Such structures can be installed indoors or outdoors.
Among the disadvantages is the need for additional thermal insulation. It is difficult to find a ceramic chimney among domestic products, so you often have to order and wait from abroad.
Steel chimneys are a modern solution, sandwich models consisting of several layers are very popular (a pipe of a smaller diameter is inserted into a larger pipe, wrapped with insulating material). This is the most affordable option, relatively easy to assemble, light in weight. Such chimneys will last about 20 years. Stainless steel will be more expensive, but it is more reliable due to its resistance to corrosion and temperature extremes.
Steel fireplaces and chimneys are a great solution for a private house or cottage if you want to place a beautiful and spectacular hearth. In addition to functionality, it is easy to assemble and install. Brandenburg models are remarkable in this respect: compact and economical fireplaces have several designs, easily fit into the interior and are played up with facing material. The stainless steel options can be installed during construction and in an existing home with minimal conversion costs.
Inexpensive and durable pipes are made of polymer - hardy (up to 250 ° C), lightweight, not afraid of condensation and temperature extremes, they become an excellent solution. After special processing, glass withstands high temperatures and does not lend itself to condensation. It allows you to create spectacular ensembles. However, due to the price and some shocking design, this option is rarely used.
To preserve the beautiful design of a brick fireplace, the stone and brickwork of the chimney is combined with options that are resistant to moisture and wear - ceramics, steel pipes. These sandwich models are easy to clean, last long and give good traction.
Placement of the firebox and chimney
Before installing a fireplace and installing a chimney, a floor plan is made, in which you need to take into account the size of the house, the height of the chimney, the material of construction and the type of fuel. Metal and steel pipes are suitable for liquid or gaseous fuels, brick and ceramic chimneys will better cope with pressed and solid "wood". Builders place great emphasis on pipe placement:
- With this external location, the fireplace could be located inside the house against the outer wall, and part of the chimney turned out to be “outside”.
- With the internal (wall) position, the chimney passes through the house, the smoke in the chimney cools down gradually, without forming condensation. The chimney and fireplace take up a lot of space, therefore it is recommended to place the firebox against the inner wall of the house. So it is possible not only to solve design problems, but also to use all the heat. It is necessary to take into account the load on the supporting structures and pay attention to the insulation of the heating parts, the tightness of the pipe.
- Packing pipes are located directly above the firebox, forming a single vertical structure;
- Indigenous or free-standing chimneys need a separate foundation, because they are located on the side of the firebox.
Whichever version of the fireplace and the location of the chimneys you choose, think about the ventilation system and fire protection, thermal insulation.
How to install
The installation of the fireplace and chimney is carried out in a certain sequence in order to take into account all the nuances, and the design was safe and functional:
- Drawings and planning, calculations. It is imperative to take into account the diameters of the chimney and the outlet of the furnace, the height of the pipe, the need and presence of horizontal elements in the chimney, cleaning and maintenance.
- Preparing the place for the firebox. The foundation for the fireplace must be heat-resistant, therefore it will require a special solution; there must be a certain distance between the heating system and the rest of the room.To ensure safety, a fairly deep foundation is made for brick structures. When using metal structures, they are additionally treated with heat-resistant paint. Fire-prevention treatment of the location of the fireplace is carried out at this stage.
- Installation of the firebox itself, fireplace. Stone structures are laid in a certain sequence. Steel fireplaces require rigid installation using anchors - special long bolts that can withstand high loads. Separate parts are connected with aluminum tape, pre-treating the seams with sealants.
- The installation of the chimney begins with the connection to the pipe. This place is fixed with metal refractory rivets, a tightness of the joint is created and its insulation from the walls with sheet metal, asbestos-cement materials. The structure should not have more than 3 turns, the length of the horizontal sections should not be more than 1 m, and the height of the pipe above the ridge should be at least 0.5 m.Of course, all joints and seams should be airtight, insulated from ceilings with a non-combustible and heat-insulating layer. Connections to walls and ceilings are secured with clamps that “react” to temperature changes and take on the load.
- Montage of an otter. Correctly installing the head, the box means taking into account the total height of the chimney and protecting the pipe from precipitation inside. To do this, you will need a special cap and accessories (deflectors, figurines, smoke pumps) that contribute to the correct traction.
- Facing work is the design of a fireplace with non-combustible finishing materials. The floor near the fireplace is often laid out with heat-resistant stone or ceramic tiles, and the walls of metal structures are also covered.
- Providing fire safety in a room with a firebox. Do not store large supplies of fuel near the fireplace in order to prevent a fire. It is good to keep extinguishing agents in such a room (fire extinguisher, container with sand). It is useful to install a fire alarm in large cottages and houses.
It is rather difficult to install such a structure with your own hands, it is more convenient to use ready-made modular solutions. In this case, the choice is based on the size of the heated house and the type of fuel.
The chimney often becomes not only an exhaust hood, but also a part of the heating system of the house. Fire safety and air purity depend on its quality and correct installation. Since a chimney is being made for decades, it is worth approaching the issue of installing a fireplace and installing a chimney very thoroughly, so that later you do not redo the entire fireplace system, and also not experience inconvenience and disappointment due to improper operation of the chimney.