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Brent Gary
Cunningham Gas Products

What should be examined when installing a fireplace in a home?

There are several different types of fireplaces available that can be added to an existing house. You have your traditional wood-burning fireplace, then you have a wood-burning fireplace with a gas starter so you can use the gas to start the wood on fire, or burn vented gas logs. There are also direct vent fireplaces that are strictly gas-burning, and they have a solid piece of glass across the front.

Once you know which type of fireplace you are going to install, you want to make sure that you have the space to accommodate the size fireplace that you want. You need to take into consideration how the house breathes. If a home is sealed too tightly, you may have problems with your fireplace venting correctly and end up with smoke, carbon monoxide and soot inside the house.

What should be done to ensure a fireplace is safe?

Since the vast majority of fireplaces today are [prefabricated], the most important thing is to make sure that the firebox and flue system follow the required clearance to combustibles. If you have the metal firebox or flue system too close to combustible framing materials, they could actually dry out over a period of time and usage.

Additionally, you need to look at a fireplace like this: It is the only place in your house where you intentionally set a rip-roaring blaze, so you want to make sure all of the components of the fireplace stay in good working order.

Adding a fireplace to an existing home