Got a query?
QI am hoping to install a coal-effect electric fire in my fireplace and I wonder if I need to seal up the chimney first? I am wondering if rain were to come down the chimney, for example, would that be dangerous with an electric fire? I would be grateful for your advice.
AInstalling a coal-effect electric fire has become particularly attractive over recent years as we all seek to become less reliant on fossil fuels and do our small bit for the environment. Modern specification electric fires now feature flame effects that really do provide an uncanny resemblance to a real fire ambience.
A large range of fire-type options are available to suit an individual’s require-
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All coal-effect electric fires do not require a chimney.
However, as in your case, where an existing chimney is in situ, then you will require some modifications. Without having to carry out works to the roof and chimney, you will be able to maintain the existing chimney as it is by providing a ventilated chimney cap (cowl) on top. There are a wide range of cowl options available and these provide good ventilation which can be adjusted by raising or lowering the arms.
The cowl will reduce heat loss from your property and will protect your chimney against water/dampness ingression. Having the cowl fitted correctly will also protect your chimney against bird nesting which can be a nuisance.
Often, a good idea would be to ask your installer to recommend speaking to an existing homeowner who has had similar work carried out, so you can appreciate the real extent of modifications required. Andrew O’Gorman is a chartered building surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.
Out of the loop: when part of our road was widened without our knowledge, the works filled in drainage pipes from our garden.