My House Has a Chimney But No Fireplace?
Maybe you’re shopping for your dream home and found the perfect place. It’s got everything you want, even a chimney, and you anticipate cozying up to a roaring fire during those cold winter nights. But wait. You take the tour and see there’s no fireplace! So, what gives? In this post, we look at why some homes have a chimney but no fireplace.
Why A House Might Have A Chimney But No Fireplace
In some cases, the home in question had a fireplace at the beginning but was covered up when the owner renovated. Chimneys and fireplaces were typical in house buildings before the 1900s because the fire was the primary method to heat homes.
Once alternative fuels came into vogue, such as gas and electricity, people no longer relied on their fireplaces and either left them as-is for decoration or sealed them up. In other cases, where the homeowner has adopted an alternative heating source, they still rely on the chimney to exhaust the gas and other waste products.
Finally, although many homeowners have sealed the fireplace, they leave the chimney standing because dismantling it is too expensive, and some prefer the look.
Do I Need to Clean a Chimney If I Don’t Have a Fireplace?
If you have a fireplace, you know how essential it is to keep your chimney clean for safety and improve your fireplace’s performance. However, if you don’t have a fireplace but your home still has a standing chimney, do you still need to clean and maintain it? The answer is yes. Unused chimneys still need cleaning and maintenance because moisture can develop in the flue, and critters and debris still find their way inside. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends annual cleaning and inspection for all chimneys, even the ones not in regular use.
Furthermore, a chimney’s masonry materials are exposed to the elements 24/7. Harsh weather and water can cause them to deteriorate over time. So, it’s essential to schedule regular inspections and maintenance to keep your chimney in good condition and prevent it from becoming an eyesore and falling apart. If you use your chimney as a vent for another appliance, it’s wise to keep it clean and free from obstructions to prevent toxic gas from coming back into your home and for your appliance to work efficiently.
Do I Need to Vent My Unused Chimney?
Like chimney cleaning, you must still vent your unused chimney to combat moisture buildup. If moisture collects in the chimney for too long, it can cause water damage that can affect other parts of your home and introduce mold and mildew.
Should I Remove My Chimney?
As mentioned, removing a chimney is expensive, so most people prefer to take out the firebox and cover the fireplace instead if they don’t intend to use their chimney anymore. However, if you have the money, is it worth removing the chimney? Well, according to some real estate experts, a standing chimney in good condition can add up to 6% value to your home and up to 12% if you have a working fireplace to go with it. If you’re committed to remaining in your home for the rest of your life and want to take on the expense of removing the chimney, there’s nothing that says you shouldn’t.
However, if you want to sell down the road, consider keeping your chimney in good shape and maybe unsealing your fireplace and adding an insert or stove to get the most out of the sale. Fireplaces are seeing a resurgence in popularity, so your investment in upkeep will most likely get paid back and then some.
Call Fire N Stone
Fire N Stone is a full-service stove shop and custom stone and chimney service company serving residents throughout central New Hampshire. We’re family owned and operated and have over 13 years of experience in design, sales, installation, and service for all residential and commercial hearth and stone needs.
Our certified chimney sweeps will keep your chimney in top condition whether you’re using it or not, and we’re available for custom stone work that can make your home stand out in the neighborhood.
Contact us today at 603-293-4040 or stop in and visit us at our 3,400 square foot showroom at 539 Laconia Rd., Tilton, NH.