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Unlined chimneys are dangerous. Liners are a simple “fix”, but before you get a
chimney liner installation, have that chimney professionally inspected for safety.
The selection of the type of liner will depend on the nature of the fire handled by
the flue.

You may be more concerned about retrofitting your existing chimney than in
incorporating chimney features in new construction. Newly constructed buildings
are designed to meet Chimney Safety Institute of America standards.
Why you should be concerned? The answer: unlined chimneys can lead to fires,
property destruction, and loss of life. A chimney liner installation can save a lot
of money.

Types of Chimney Liners
Three types of chimney liners are designed to operate inside masonry chimneys:
 Clay

 Ceramic
 Metal
Their Purposes
Chimney liners perform several different services. They:
 Handle combustion products. Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or
destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.” Changes from
fuel (wood, gas, oil, coal) by fire or heat produces combustion products (smoke,
tar, acids).
 Direct the combustion products into the world outside the building.
However, some combustion products (residue ashes, for example),tars, and
acids accumulate in the chimneys, requiring frequent cleaning. Creosote
accumulates and is subject to combustion. Acids weaken masonry chimneys.
Heat and corrosion limit the chimney’s life. Chimneys left unattended often
simply collapse.
 Move the heat quickly outward. The speed of heat movement is important.
Masonry chimneys are enclosed in wood; the wood dries, eventually to
combustibility. A liner inhibits heat transfer to the framing.
 Separate the corrosive flue gasses from the chimney masonry. These gasses,
and the acids they carry, literally “eat” the mortar that holds the masonry
chimney together. One of those gasses is carbon monoxide, deadly to people.
 Take concern for draft. The kind of flue you need for a fireplace differs from
that required by a gas burner, a coal fire, a woodstove, or a gas or oil furnace.
Each flue is a function of the design of the appliance used. There is no “one size
fits all.” Get the size wrong and contribute to the creosote buildup in your
Three Types
Three types of chimney liners are commonly used for a chimney liner
 Clay tile: This type of liner is best for well-maintained fireplace chimneys.
They are inexpensive, easily available, and can be installed by a qualified

mason. Once installed, they must be regularly maintained, because they cannot
easily diffuse heat during a chimney fire. The result of that problem could lead
to cracking of the tiles and their eventual replacement.
 Metal liners are generally not used for new construction. They must be
properly installed and maintained to be safe. Aluminum liners apply only to gas
heating devices only. Others require the stainless steel. Metal liners will also
require a high temperature insulating material.
 Cast-in-place liners are constructed by using components that pour like
cement. These require the installation of a cast to produce a one-piece smooth,
seamless, and separated route for the evacuation of flue gasses. They are easy to
produce and improve the structural strength of the chimney.
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