Our house was built in 1898. I am told we cannot use our
fireplace unless we install a sleeve that would cost
$3,000 to $6,000.
an alternative, is there such a thing as a gas-fired
Franklin stove-type insert that could be put in without
venting or, perhaps, with an exhaust pipe up the
the fireplace is smack in the middle of the house, an
insert could provide a true heat benefit. But I would
prefer not to risk asphyxiation.
guidance will be greatly appreciated.
First of all, who said you could not use the fireplace,
and why? Was it the same person who provided the
fireplace-sleeve estimate? Did you get a second opinion?
estimate is about correct. For several years, I've been
asking real estate agents and remodelers who handle
older homes with flues lined with tiles or pargeted with
mortar about the cost of installing stainless-steel
sleeves, and the answer has always come back "about
it be a good idea to spend the money on the sleeve? It
depends on how long you are going to live in your house.
If you plan to move in a few years, be advised that
today's buyers want everything in perfect condition, and
that a nonworking fireplace could kill a deal.
sleeves are the easiest to install, certainly more so
than tiles in an existing chimney. Poured-in cement
liners - cast in place - are an option, too, and last
about 50 years. I'm not sure of the price.
Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association says a fireplace
insert needs to be placed in an existing masonry or
factory-built fireplace with a working chimney. A
fireplace insert is either vented through a working
chimney, direct vented, or vent-free, depending on fuel
most cases, a chimney liner is required. The type and
size is specific to the fuel.
gas inserts or logs come with carbon monoxide and
oxygen-depletion sensors that automatically shut off if
there is an operation problem.
municipalities have rules against vent-less fireplaces,
though, so you will need to check with the building
department before you proceed.
fireplaces lose a lot of heat. The association rates
older fireplaces' efficiency at 5 percent to 10 percent.