Information On Chimneys

First, choose a Masonry or a Metal (Pre-Fab) chimney

A masonry (actual brick or block) chimney MUST have a tile liner when burning wood. Many existing older chimneys are not lined and would be unsafe unless relined.

The materials for a masonry chimney are inexpensive at a lumber yard but labor adds up.

In addition, the 12 to 20 tons of the total chimney weight requires a separate footer.

A metal Pre-Fab chimney does not require a special footer, labor is minimal, and installation is quick and easy, but the stainless steel pipe is expensive.

The modern alternative to a massive masonry chimney is a metal, factory-built chimney. Many different kinds of metal chimney exist. Gas furnaces usually have a Class "B" Vent chimney which is inexpensive but has an aluminum inside, which makes it very unsafe for a wood-burning product.

There are also chimneys specifically for Pellet stoves.

And finally, there are chimneys for wood-burners.

There are some (inferior) types that are associated with specific low-efficiency factory-built fireplace models. These Heatilator, Superior, Majestic and (PreWay) chimneys are not particularly safe and are NOT approved as Class "A".

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Somehow, those manufacturers have gotten those chimneys passed some reduced UL test requirements when used with their fireplaces. This still doesn't mean that they are very safe, and we DON'T recommend using them with ours or any other woodburners!

The ONLY safe metal chimney for wood-burners is called Class "A". There are two varieties: Insulated and Triple-Wall. Until about 1980, Triple-Wall chimneys predominated the market, but since then Insulated chimneys have almost entirely taken over, for very good reasons.

Metal Triple-Wall Class A Chimney relies on free air flow between the walls to maintain safety. To develop a draft in a chimney, you must warm it up. (That's why you build a newspaper fire when starting a fireplace.)

Cold air moving between those walls can chill the inside wall that you're trying to keep warm, so draft can vary.

We prefer Metal Solid-Pack Class-A Chimneys which keep the inner chimney wall warmer, and so the draft is more constant. All of the chimney materials described here and handled by JUCA are Solid-Pack except Amerivent's products.

This page is an accessory page for our Chimney Comparison Pricer interactive page. That page will calculate your total cost of all the pipe and all the (standard) accessory parts for YOUR installation for each brand, and even apply the discount that we can give you. You can then see your unique bottom line cost for every brand and choice. You'll probably then choose the least expensive overall! Comparison shopping at its best!

That page is at: /info/chim1.html

The JUCA Home Page is at: juca