franco b wrote:[quote="ColdHouse"]
I do prefer an opening into the chimney above the mantle rather than going through the fireplace opening which has its own set of problems.
Would you please elaborate on "own set of problems"?[/quote]
Going through the fireplace opening requires removing the damper and possibly its frame as well and then the path is still not straight up. The chimney and smoke pipe should be brushed once a year and it will be harder and more complicated to undo everything to do that. In general one or two lengths of smoke pipe are required to reach into the chimney proper from the damper area. Sometimes a metal plate with an oval hole for the smoke pipe is used to close off the damper area. Lot of hassle to clean.
The selection of a stove will be limited by the height of the fireplace opening and the height of the flue opening of the stove. With the chimney opening above the mantle you go straight into the chimney. Taking down the smoke pipe is easy and the chimney can be brushed from below through the fireplace. Any stove can be used, even a quality antique if wanted. Fireplace damper is left alone.
Either way is more work than at first glance but I do favor easier maintenance.