Are you planning to get yourself a fireplace and a chimney?
10 tips to avoid pitfalls
Did you know that there are stricter regulations stipulated for chimneys than before? Those should be paid attention to, if you are planning to get a fireplace and a chimney for your home or leisure residence?
These tips help you to avoid unpleasant surprises and wrong purchases:
Trying to be environmentally friendly, is a good starting point for choosing a fireplace. Did you know that a cleanly burning fireplace will reduce one third of the emissions? Also, when choosing a chimney, you should be careful, because considering the current regulations, it is not insignificant, from what kind of pipe the flue flows outwards. Safety first of all! Therefore, choose Finnish made, fireproof, tested and T600 rated chimney products. This way you’ll avoid many concerns.
1. Trust professionals!
Professional fireplace salespeople help you to make the right choices. They may also, for their part, make sure that matters required by the regulations are taken into consideration in the planning. It is worth leaving the installation work to competent installers, who are familiar with fireplace products and know that they are compatible with the chimney.
2. Get yourself a competent designer
According to the current regulations, a principal designer, a designer of structures or a special designer shall have to prepare a location specific fireplace and chimney plan, where the durability, tightness and service life of the fireplace has been specified, as well as the chimney type, inlets, foundations, supports, cleaning hatches and connection flues and chimney connectors. Go the plan carefully through, and make sure that the following things have been taken care of:
3. Pay attention to the foundations
An immobile foundation must be built for the fireplace and chimney. A fireplace may also be built on a fireproof base floor or roof ceiling joist. The structure, however, must stand the weight of the fireplace. Find out, what kind of fireplace can be installed for example on a wooden floor. Did you know that modern, light-weight steel chimneys can be installed without foundations, and the weight of the chimney can be supported, which means there will not be a weight load resting on the fireplace and the floor?
4. Choose a fireplace suitable for the room
Choose a fireplace with a size suitable for the room and the use. A good point of reference is the sauna stove: if the stove is under-dimensioned for the size of the sauna, it may happen that too much wood is burned, the chimney will overheat and cause a fire hazard. Did you know that Finnish manufacturer Härmä Air has a ventilated product in the AIR line tested for up to 900-degree continuous glue gas heat?
5. Has the supplying of make-up air been designed correctly?
According to the decree on chimneys, the providing of make-up air to the fireplace must be taken into consideration in the plan. Check if the make-up air has been designed to be supplied to the fireplace through the floor or the wall, and whether it is possible to lead it to the fireplace directly from the chimney? When the air needed for combustion flows inside along the side of the chimney, the indoor air stays clean, and it is easier to place the fireplace into a correct location.
No make-up air
6. Do the fireplace and chimney meet the new requirements?
T600 classification is applied in Finland to chimneys of fireplaces using dry fuel (wood, pellets, etc.). This means that the insulation structures of the chimney must have more efficient insulation and heat resistance than before. Check that the selected chimney is suitable for a fireplace using dry fuels and that the fireplace or chimney includes a flue damper. That is obligatory now, too.
7. Encase only a chimney tested for encasing
If you are planning to encase the chimney within the wall structure, fireplace mantel or upstairs cabinet, remember that it is only allowed to build within an encasing such a chimney that has been tested for that particular purpose.
8. Make sure that the chimney is suitable for the inlet of a thick structure
Is the chimney suitable for the inlet of the thick construction insulation designed for the building? A new energy efficient construction insulation may be up to 800 mm thick; however, most of the chimney products available on the market has been fire tested only for an inlet of 200 mm. If there is a thick insulation layer around such a product, this may cause a fire hazard!
The same applies to wall inlets. Most steel flues are suitable only for a 200 mm thick wall inlet. According to the national regulations, a double amount of insulation must be added to the structure, unless the product has been tested separately. Did you know that Härmä Air’s fire tested products can be installed into a wall let with the diameter of up to 500 mm?
9. Pay attention to the supports and cleanability of the chimney
Have the supports of the chimney and cleanability taken into consideration, with regard to wind and snow loads? If the chimney is on the roof, over 1.5 metres high, maintenance platforms must be built on the roof for the chimney sweeper. There are Finnish made products on the market, for which there is available a cleaning hatch, facilitating chimney sweeping, to be installed on the roof. This will save expenses.
10. Check the chimney inlets once a year
Rather choose for the roof a covering and fully tight sheet metal plating set for the chimney instead of rubber sealing becoming brittle along with time. This should be done at least once a year.