When do you need a chimney liner? 

Easy: Whenever you have a chimney! 

But this is your home, and your safety is of the utmost concern. It is helpful to know what a chimney liner is so you can fully appreciate why it is so essential. So, without further ado…. 

What Is a Chimney Liner?  

A chimney liner, which you may also hear referred to as a “flue liner,” is a thin tube that lines the entire length of the chimney. They are most often made of stainless steel today, though clay tiles are common in older homes.  

Sidenote: the problem with clay tiles is that, while fairly inexpensive, they are prone to cracking and/or gapping in the mortar joints. This can allow smoke and embers to work their way through the liner, causing a fire. It can also cause draft issues that leave your home smelling of smoke.  

Now, a properly installed and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) approved chimney liner offers key benefits: 

  • It greatly enhances safety. A liner safeguards your chimney from intense heat, as well as from the build-up of creosote and soot that can impair performance. Without this protection, you are vulnerable to a chimney fire.  

    Additionally, you will greatly reduce the risk of exposure to the byproducts of combustion (e.g. carbon monoxide). If you do not have a liner or if it is not in good shape, then toxic gasses cannot exit properly. Instead, they can infiltrate your home, putting you and your household members at risk.  

  • A liner increases efficiency. With fuel prices the way they are, any step we can take to increase efficiency is well worth it. Chimney liners are essential in facilitating steady airflow, allowing wood and other fuels to burn as efficiently as possible.  
  • It’s cleaner. We mentioned creosote and soot; not only are these hard to clean from an unlined chimney, they are also highly flammable. A stray ember can touch off a dangerous situation. A chimney liner, particularly stainless, is easier to clean and maintain, thus keeping your home safer.  

When Do You Need a Chimney Liner? 

We’ll go back to our earlier answer: you need a liner whenever you have a chimney. Let’s be more specific: 

You need a chimney liner if: 

  • You burn wood, pellets, oil, propane, or another fuel. Even though oil, propane, and other liquid fuels don’t create the creosote or soot related to wood-burning, they do create a mist that needs to be properly vented. You also need a liner to ensure that your system works with maximum efficiency, allows toxic gasses to exit the home, and keeps you, your family, and your property safe. 
  • You have an older home. Since the 1940s, building codes have evolved and most jurisdictions (like ours) require homes with chimneys to have approved liners. If you have an older home, it may pre-date these standards, and you may not have a liner at all. In this case, have one installed ASAP. 
  • Your current liner needs to be replaced. For example, you could be dealing with: 
    • Water infiltration/damage 
    • Condensation in the home 
    • Deteriorating chimney walls 
  • You want to transfer ownership of the property (e.g. sell it). You will also need to make sure your chimney liner is (a) present! and (b) functioning properly in order to pass inspections. 

Line Us Up 

If you need a chimney liner installed or replaced, the best time to do it is now. It’s not worth waiting when it comes to your safety. Contact Brick + Ember to discuss your needs – and achieve the comfort, security, and peace of mind you deserve.