Anatomy of a Fireplace
While there are differences among the various types of fireplaces, you will find common parts. An understanding of the basic terminology is helpful.
- Outer Hearth: This is the technical term for what we usually call the hearth. It is the part of the hearth that extends out into the room, beyond the fireplace opening.
- Inner Hearth: The floor of the fireplace, inside the opening.
- Firebox: This is the space in which you build the fire, on the inner hearth.
- Fireback: The rear wall of the firebox.
- Damper: A plate or valve that closes the fireplace flue when the fireplace is not in use. You must fully open it before lighting the fire.
- Throat Damper: A damper located in the throat of the fireplace, just above the firebox. This is the kind found in most fireplaces, and is operated by means of either a handle inside the firebox or a knob above the fireplace opening connected to a rotating metal shaft attached to the damper.
- Smoke Chamber: The somewhat triangular shaped space above the throat of the fireplace leading up to the flue.
- Flue: The vertical passageway up the inside of the chimney.
- Ash Dump Door: A metal door located on the inner hearth of some fireplaces, which leads to an ash pit.
- Ash Pit: A cavity underneath a fireplace firebox, used as a receptacle for ashes, and accessible for clean-out by means of a clean-out door.
- Ash Pit Clean-out Door: A metal door located at the base of the chimney which leads to the ash pit.