A Few Important Chimney and Fireplace Terms

How well do you know your chimney and fireplace? While the chimney may look like a simple masonry structure, on the inside are many components that work in unison to keep your home and family safe while enjoying the fireplace or heating stove. During an annual chimney inspection, your chimney sweep may point out areas that need attention like cleaning or repair. 

Chimney Sweep in Amherst, NHEssential Industry Terms

Starting from the base to the top, here are a few essential industry terms to help you better understand your chimney and fireplace.

Chimney Foundation – This is the cement base that supports the weight of the chimney system.

Ash Dump – The ash dump is below the firebox. Using a trap-door mechanism, the ash from the fire falls into the dump for easy removal.

Firebox – This is the main part of the fireplace where the logs are stacked for lighting. The surrounding firebrick is made to withstand the high temperatures of a fire. 

Throat – The area between the firebox and smoke shelf is the throat of the chimney. Its narrow, angled design expels the carbon monoxide and other gases efficiently out the flue without backing up into the living space.



Throat Damper – The throat damper is installed inside the throat. It creates an airtight seal to help prevent energy loss when shut.

Smoke Chamber – Just above the throat in the middle of the chimney, also known as the breast, is the smoke chamber. As the smoke and fumes rise through the narrow throat, it is compressed in the smoke chamber to facilitate a more efficient venting.  

Smoke Shelf – The smoke shelf is located at the bottom of the smoke chamber near the damper. Its purpose is to prevent any downdrafts from interfering with the updraft of smoke and gases exiting the flue.

Flue – The flue is the opening, duct, or pipe that expels the smoke, fumes, and other byproducts out of the chimney. 

Flue Liner – The flue liner is a fire-resistant material that covers the flue. It prevents the intense heat in the fireplace from damaging the masonry walls. It also helps prevent heat transfer to combustible materials. Clay tile, cement, and stainless steel are the three most common types of flue liners.

Chimney Crown – The top surface of a masonry chimney is the crown and typically has a flue pipe in the middle. Its sloped design helps divert water away from the flue.

Chimney Cap Keene, NHChimney Cap – The cap is a covering that protects the flue from water intrusion. Some caps have a steel mesh screen to keep small animals and debris out of the chimney. A cap may also have a spark guard feature to help prevent hot embers from flying out of the flue and onto the roof.

Top Sealing Damper – Some chimneys have a damper installed at the top of the chimney instead of in the throat. It is more effective in preventing moisture intrusion and energy loss when the fireplace is not in use.

Flashing – The flashing is a strip of sheet metal that covers the seam between the chimney and the roof to prevent water leaks.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)