What will Santa do? Fewer homes have chimneys «

    What will Santa do? Fewer homes have chimneys

    On the night before Christmas, children will want to hang their stockings by the chimney with care. But what are good little girls and boys to do when their home has no chimney?

    While fireplaces are a common feature in modern-day homes — even in warm climates — actual chimneys are becoming somewhat of a home-building relic.

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    Enlarge Image To get a sense of that trend, Trulia, a real-estate website, looked at homes listed on its website between January 2011 and June 2013. For homes built in the 2010s, fewer than 0.5 of every 1,000 home listings mentioned a chimney, according to the analysis. Meanwhile, about two out of every 100 listings for homes built at that time mentioned a fireplace. Chimneys are most common in homes built before 1900, while fireplaces experienced a bump in popularity in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

    Not all fireplaces need a chimney. As Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko pointed out, fireplaces in newer homes often will vent without a chimney. “In fact, the metros with the most fireplaces aren’t the metros with the most chimneys,” he wrote in a blog post.