Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Open fires, chimneys and flues
Chimneys are often prominent and significant parts of historic buildings and fireplaces are frequently striking and significant elements of the interior. Many chimneys were constructed in single skin brickwork and are very sensitive to alteration. Great care should be taken and specialist advice sought, before adapting or altering a chimney.
Fireplaces and chimneys are often still in use, some for open fires, some for room heating stoves, and some for central heating and hot water boilers. Many other fireplaces and chimneys are no longer needed and have been blocked up, temporarily or permanently. Whether used or unused, fireplaces and chimneys can have an important role in improving the energy efficiency of a building.
This guidance forms one of a series of thirteen guidance notes covering the thermal upgrading of building elements such as roofs, walls and floors.
First published by English Heritage March 2012 (51586).
- Developments in chimney design
- Chimneys in use
- Disused flues
- Where to get advice
- Series: Guidance
- Publication Status: Completed
- Pages: 22
- Product Code: HEAG080
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Also of interest...
Even though gas fires and central heating are now used for heating, many houses still have old fireplaces.
Follow our practical advice on how to save energy in older buildings.
How to improve the energy efficiency of older buildings in ways that are sympathetic to their historic character.