Smoking and poor performing chimneys have been a problem for many thousands of years. In fact, early cave dwellers didn’t even have chimneys, they simply let the smoke rise to the top of the cave and find it’s way out. You can only imagine what type of odor problems they had in their homes.
Houses in colonial days had no insulation, and the windows and doors lacked weather stripping. As a result, small amounts of smoke leaking into a home were hardly noticed due to the vast amounts of fresh air constantly entering.
In the late 1800’s coal became the primary fuel for home heating and fireplaces were used much less. Poor chimneys now posed an even larger problem – the backup and spillage of coal fumes (carbon monoxide) killed hundreds each year. Chimney technology improved in order to solve this problem. Flue liners and even poured insulation around flues became common.
In the early 1900’s, oil and gas started to replace coal as home heating fuel. By 1940 the transformation was nearly complete, and the building of proper masonry fireplaces became somewhat of a lost art. The oil shocks and energy crisis of the 1970’s revived the burning of wood, and millions of Americans rediscovered their fireplaces. Countless others installed free standing wood and coal stoves into masonry chimneys. However, they soon found out that many chimneys were not up to snuff. As a result, an entire industry was born to supply enhancements, improvements and safety measures to masonry chimneys. The most common are:
- Chimney Liners
- Chimney Caps
- Top Sealing Dampers
- Draft Inducing Fans
- and now…… Extend-a-Flue™