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What is a Stainless Steel Chimney Liner?

It is a stainless steel pipe, either rigid or flexible, made for relining flues of masonry chimneys when the original clay liner has cracked or broken. It may also be used to create a lining in a masonry chimney that was made without a clay liner.

Liners are essential because they channel heat and gases up through the chimney top and block the heat from causing combustible materials around the chimney from catching fire.

Most people think of chimney liners only in terms of fire safety: Especially if you burn wood, you probably know that an unlined chimney, or a chimney with a damaged liner, is a fire hazard. Chimney fires burn hot enough that combustible forming around the chimney can catch fire right through a layer of brick, therefore, a liner provides extra protection to the interior of the chimney and helps guide the gases and particles up and out of the structure.

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If you install a wood stove or a fireplace insert, a chimney liner may be required in order for venting to work properly. If you use an oversized flue, numerous problems can occur, such as:

  • When the heating unit is cold, a large amount of smoke will tend to spill into the home.
  • When the stove does heat up, it can overfire.
  • The oversized flue can create excessive formation of creosote, which causes chimney fires.

If you see bits of crumbled liner falling from your chimney into your fireplace, that’s evidence enough that you need to install a new chimney liner before using the fireplace again.

Deteriorated terracotta liners can block the chimney or kill the draft, and sometimes kill the homeowners with carbon monoxide poisoning. A blocked oil flue can fill your house with black soot overnight.

A properly sized flue creates the ideal draft for your appliance, whether it’s a furnace, a water heater, a fireplace or a stove. Over-sized flues tend to provide too weak a draft for modern appliances. A chimney liner of the appropriate size for your appliance will help improve the draft, which in turn improves the operation of the appliance.

In the end, a properly installed stainless steel chimney liner is the kind of insurance that allows you to rest easy, knowing you can use your fireplace or wood stove safely.

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