When you start your search for a new Fireplace one of the most vital starting points is identifying what you can and can't have. Because every home is different we really do recommend you have a professional chimney sweep come and take a peek and definitely give the flue a good old clean.
There is a general guide line on identifying your chimney and flue but like I said it is really worth having a professional check for any possible faults and to be 100% sure.
The following illustrations and descriptions should give you a good idea of where you can start.
Common in older houses, earlier than 1960. The class 1 chimney is identifiable by 7" (180mm) or greater diameter flue. The existing chimney must be structurally sound, please check before the installation of a new fireplace.
Class 1 chimneys as long as they are fault free are suitable for all fireplace types.
Either an older house where the existing chimney has been lined by a propietary steel flue or a newer house with a steel flue built in. This chimney type is identifiable by a 5" (130mm) diameter flue and a steel flue terminal.
Class 2 chimneys are unfortunately not suitable for solid fuel fires, but you can use gas.
Modern houses generally later than 1960 often have a pre-cast concrete chimney system, identifiable by a rectangular box section flue and a terminal, as illustrated in the picture.
Pre-cast flues are again not suitable for solid fuel fires and can only use specific gas fires. However the range of gas fires has increased hugely over the past few years.
Modern houses often have no chimney. You can use a modern decorative electric fire with up to 2kW heat output, or a gas powerflue fire.
Victorian fireplaces Uk Ltd
Unit 12 Witham Point
Tel: 01522 521222
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