If you have a fireplace in your home, you know and understand how vital it is to maintain the structure. You can add a component to your chimney that makes it safer for your home—a chimney liner. But what are chimney liners, and why are they important? Read this guide to learn more about these liners, the different types you can install, and the reasons why you would install one.
What Are Chimney Liners?
Also known as a flue liner, this component insulates and protects your chimney from overheating when the gases from your fire escape. The liner will run up the entire length of your chimney for the most protection. Now, instead of the gases and smoke lingering in the chimney and causing problems, they can travel through the liner and out of your home more safely.
Why Are Liners Important Components?
Chimney liners are essential because they prevent damage to the brick and protect you from house fires.
The fires you build create byproducts, such as creosote, that can become corrosive to the masonry inside your chimney. When these byproducts begin to deteriorate the brick, it can create the risk of carbon dioxide leaking into your home. A liner can help prevent damage to the masonry from occurring in the first place, making your home and fireplace safer.
The fireplaces and chimneys built today differ greatly from those built 20 years ago. Ensuring you have the correct flue size will allow your fireplace to function correctly. When the flue is too small or large, it has the same effect of not having a liner at all—so talk with a professional about which liner is best for your chimney.
Due to the chimney liner mitigating heat transfer, you are less likely to experience an accidental house fire. Typically, the chimney structure rests against other materials in your home, including drywall, woodwork, and other materials that can combust. The liner will help prevent the heat from your fire from transferring to these areas of your home.
Do You Need a Chimney Liner?
Most fire codes you see today will require the homeowner to line their chimney, but not always. Experts recommend these liners because of how unsafe your fireplace and flue can be without one. However, the regulations can vary from state to state, so check local guidelines for more direction on how to go about installing a chimney liner.
What Are the Types of Chimney Liners?
There are three different types of chimney liners you can install in your fireplace—metal, clay tile, or cast-in-place. Let’s go over each one so that you can better determine which is right for you.
Metal Chimney Liners
One of the most popular liners you can choose from is of the metal variety. These generally utilize stainless steel or aluminum. Metal liners are a popular option because you can easily install them in any fireplace, whether wood to gas. The metal provides resistance to corrosion and is very rigid, protecting your home from unwanted fires.
Clay Tile Chimney Liners
Before metal liners hit the market, many people opted for clay tile liners. These components remain in homes, but they are more difficult to repair or replace after damage occurs. The heat from your fire could heat the clay tile unevenly, leading to cracking and presenting a household hazard over time. These clay tile liners can, however, last for an extended period if you take care of them properly.
Cast-in-Place Chimney Liners
Cast-in-place liners use a concrete mixture that professionals can pour inside your chimney to line it effectively. The permanent and solid line creates an excellent barrier between your masonry and the heat or gases from your fire. Due to the permanence of this concrete liner, you will need to replace the entire component if damage occurs. While this type of liner creates incredible insulation, it can be costly to install or replace.
What if You’re Converting a Wood Fireplace to Gas?
For some homeowners, the upkeep of a wood fireplace is too demanding, so they switch to a gas insert. When you already have a traditional fireplace in your home, it is still possible to convert it to gas with the help of a chimney liner! You can contact Chimcare’s gas fireplace inspection and repair service to ensure everything is in order with the installation before using the appliance to heat your home.
More Reasons To Install a Chimney Liner
The reasons and benefits of installing a chimney liner are endless. If you are still unsure about investing in this component, allow us to give you more reasons.
Do you ever experience your fire not emitting a lot of heat? A chimney liner inside your fireplace can improve energy efficiency, allowing the fire to burn brighter and hotter. The liner helps maximize the airflow to your fire, reducing the amount of wood you need to heat your home.
Cleaning the brick and mortar inside your fireplace can be a long process because the byproduct clings to the masonry. When there is a liner inside, it’s much easier to maintain, making the chore much more bearable for the homeowner. This component can also reduce the amount of soot and creosote buildup for a safer fireplace.
Reduces Moisture Buildup
Without a liner, you may run into a problem with moisture accumulating inside your chimney, whether from increased humidity or recent precipitation. If this water sits for a long time on your brick, it can begin to deteriorate and crack. A metal, clay, or cast-in-place liner will help reduce the moisture and keep it moving out of your chimney.
Now that you know what chimney liners are and why they’re important, you can better decide whether one is necessary for your home. Remember that while they are not mandatory everywhere, we recommend installing one for the best home protection. Contact Chimcare if you have any questions, and don’t forget to receive annual inspections to ensure every component in your fireplace remains in working order.