Chimney Flue Liners
The Chimney Safety Institute of America defines a flue liner as, “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.” Flue linings have been a recommended part of the internal structure of a chimney since the early 20th Century, and are mandated by the fire code in most states today.
The National Bureau of Standards (NBS), in the 1940s and the 1980s, conducted tests on masonry chimneys to determine their durability. This came in response to rising public concerns over the safety and structural integrity of masonry chimneys. The construction of an unlined chimney, in the eyes of the testers, was considered to be “almost criminal”.
What does a chimney liner do that could be so important to the safety of your home? This is easily answered by discussing the three main functions of a chimney liner. Let’s take a look:
- A chimney liner protects a home from heat transfer within the chimney. The tests conducted by the NBS showed that heat, in an unlined chimney, could move through the structure to the combustible materials in under four hours. This means a fire could start inside the structure in less time than an average fire takes to burn to ash.
- Fires create corrosive byproducts. The gases given off are acidic and can eat away at the mortar joints holding the masonry together on the inside. This erosion allows heat to more easily transfer from one area to another within the chimney increasing the risk of the combustible materials catching fire. It also means a greatly reduced lifespan for your chimney.
- A chimney liner provides the correct flue size for the most efficient usage of your appliances. Many modern wood or gas stoves require a specific minimum flue size to operate effectively, and the chimney liner ensures the flue opening never becomes too small for optimum performance. The flue is responsible for delivering the hot gases from the fireplace to the exterior of the home, but it also brings the air needed for combustion to the fire through the draft generated by the chimney. A poorly-sized liner can allow creosote buildup, and even vent deadly carbon monoxide into the home, so leave the installation to the pros at McSweepy’s. We’re the company to call for high-quality products and dependable service!
McSweepy’s offers three types of chimney liners for our customers: Clay Tiles, Metal, and Cast-in-Place. Clay tiles are the most inexpensive option, and perform quite well in properly maintained chimneys. Metal chimney liners, made from stainless steel or aluminum, are used to upgrade and repair existing chimneys. When properly installed and maintained, metal chimney liners are dependable, long-lasting, and safe. Cast-in-Place chimney liners form a smooth, insulated passageway for gases to escape the chimney. They can also help to shore up the structural integrity of an old, eroded chimney. All of the options we carry are excellent choices, so call McSweepy’s today to discuss the best option for your home!