Did you know that the worlds tallest free standing chimney is in Montana, at the Anaconda Smelter Stack, standing at 585 feet, and the tallest chimney in the world overall is the GRES 2 Power Station in Kazakhstan, which stands 1378 feet?
Before the development of chimneys, dwellings could only have one story. This is because there was no way to contain the smoke from a fire in the dwelling. Today, the presence of a fireplace and chimney can increase a homes value by as much as twelve thousand dollars. A chimney is a structure which provides ventilation for hot flue gases or smoke from a boiler, stove, furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere. Chimneys are typically vertical, or as near as possible to vertical, to ensure that the gases flow smoothly, drawing air into the combustion in what is known as the stack, or chimney, effect.
However, it is important to keep a chimney well maintained and cleaned, otherwise it can be dangerous. Steel chimney liners or chimney flue liners can prevent the buildup of debris on the inside of chimneys, which can cause fires that could burn at over 2000 degrees if fires are started on them. Without these liners or without proper cleaning, gases and debris that the chimney carry out of the building build up on the side of the chimney and can catch fire, starting the aforementioned fires.
Another important thing to have on your chimney are chimney covers or chimney caps. These chimney caps keep debris from outside from coming in through your chimney. Chimney caps also reduce wind flowing down your chimney, which can blow smoke into your house and disrupt your fire. Chimney caps can also stop animals from getting into your chimney, and therefore down into your house. Chimney caps come in different styles and designs, so it is possible to get one that will not detract from the appearance of your house.