Okay, you’ve probably never heard about chimney liners. However, if you have a fireplace, gas furnace, wood-burning stove – anything using a chimney in your home, you might be interested to know a little about chimney liners. Our professionals here at Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver, Colorado can help you with all the specifics and answer your questions. Read on for a quick chimney liner overview.
First off, why are chimney liners necessary?
Research shows that unlined chimneys are much more likely to allow sufficient heat transfer to combustible parts of your home and cause fires. Liners also help to ensure that toxic byproducts of the combustion process (like carbon monoxide) are correctly funneled out of your home and not back into the room.
Liners not only keep your home safe, but they also protect and lengthen the life of the chimney itself. Those same gasses that you don’t want to be breathing can be tough on the mortar joints used to hold your brick chimney together. They can begin to erode rather quickly and jeopardize the integrity of your chimney and start letting those toxic gasses into your house.
Finally, liners can be used as a flue in conjunction with appliances like modern wood stoves and gas or oil furnaces. When the liner is sized correctly, it increases efficiency by allowing for both venting gasses and supplying the air that your appliance needs for combustion.
So, what are my options for chimney liners?
There are three main varieties of chimney liners. Clay tiles, metal, and cast-in-place. Regulations concerning liners are different depending on where you live. That’s why talking about chimney liners with a local professional familiar with your particular regional rules can come in handy.
Each type of liner serves the same purpose but has slightly different benefits and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at these:
Clay tiles are the most common, probably because they’re the least expensive, easy to get ahold of, and work well in a properly maintained chimney. Their main disadvantage, however, is that they cannot evenly absorb heat which can often lead to cracking and splitting apart over time.
The most commonly used are aluminum and stainless-steel metal chimney liners. Stainless steel is rather versatile and used for wood, gas or oil. The less expensive aluminum option can only be used for certain gas stoves. A professional can point you in the right direction if you want to go this route.
Cast-in-place liners are created using a cement-like product that is installed directly inside the chimney for a seamless passage for gasses. They are great for helping with the structural integrity of an old chimney and work with all fuel types.
If you have an existing chimney in your home but aren’t sure whether it has a proper chimney liner, call us here at Chimney Sweeps of America. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about chimney liners and provide an inspection to ensure that your home is safe and ready for winter.