Upgrade your prefabricated chimney to a modern, safer one
If you have an older prefabricated fireplace and chimney system in your home, you might be due for an upgrade. It is easy to assume that a prefabricated fireplace and chimney — like their masonry counterparts — will last for generations. A prefabricated fireplace, however, is more akin to a home appliance. Over time, they require maintenance, repair and eventual replacement.
Determining whether your fireplace and chimney are prefabricated
Many fireplaces in modern homes are prefabricated, or factory built. Popular since the 1960s, prefabricated fireplace systems account for an estimated 75 percent of fireplaces in the United States. Most prefabricated fireplaces feature metal panels inside the firebox, which are often made to look like firebricks, along with glass doors, vents and a metal chimney. They can be gas or wood-burning or fitted with gas logs. Some rely on radiant heat to let off their warmth while others feature blowers. A quick visual inspection should allow you to determine whether your fireplace and chimney are prefabricated, but your chimney sweep will be able to tell you for sure.
Knowing when to replace your prefabricated fireplace and chimney
Estimates on the lifespan of prefabricated fireplaces or chimneys vary. Barring a destructive event such as a lightning strike, wind damage or chimney fire, prefabricated fireplaces and chimneys can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Most companies will include estimates on the lifespans of their various models. Some indicators that your prefabricated fireplace and chimney need to be replaced are leaks in the chimney system and cracks in the refractory panels inside the firebox. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, a prefabricated fireplace and chimney must be replaced when damaged parts can no longer be replaced. If either the chimney or fireplace fails, homeowners generally need to replace both, fireplaces and chimneys are manufactured to be used together. Continuing to use a damaged fireplace can put your home at risk of water damage — from a leaking chimney — or of home fire from a cracked and failing chimney or firebox.
There are other considerations for replacing your factory-built fireplace and chimney. New models can be EPA-certified, returning heat to your home more efficiently and releasing less pollution into the air. Replacing your old, outdated fireplace and chimney also can provide an aesthetic upgrade to your home by replacing a degrading, dated-looking fireplace with a newer more modern-looking one.
Choosing the right prefabricated fireplace and chimney replacement
If you are ready to upgrade your fireplace’s safety, efficiency and aesthetic value by upgrading your prefabricated fireplace and chimney, the experts at Chimney Saver Solutions can help! We offer a wide array of fireplaces to meet your design tastes. We also can help you determine which size and style of fireplace will fit in your existing heath and will meet your home’s heating needs. Call Chimney Saver Solutions to schedule a consultation and talk to one of our technicians about upgraded factory-built fireplaces and chimneys today!