What is a Chimney Liner?

A chimney liner is an important safety feature within your home’s chimney. It covers the rough interior of the chimney, creating a smooth passageway that carries the smoke and other combustion products up the chimney and out of your house.

A chimney liner:

  • Keeps your chimney from overheating. When high heat transfers to the masonry and surrounding woodwork or other structures, a chimney fire – and a subsequent house fire – can occur.
  • Protects the masonry from combustion byproducts that can deteriorate the brick and mortar, reducing the life of the chimney.
  • Prevents toxic gases, like carbon monoxide, from building up and entering your home.
  • Improves the energy efficiency of your fireplace, wood stove and gas or oil furnace by maintaining optimal air flow.
  • Reduces the buildup of soot and creosote inside the chimney.

Fire code laws require all new homes to have chimney liners installed. However, before the 1940s, liners weren’t a standard feature in masonry chimneys – one reason why chimney and house fires occurred more frequently. 

The three main types of chimney liners include:

  • Clay tile. Used since the 1900s, many older homes have clay tile liners that were installed during construction. Clay tiles are inexpensive and generally perform well when they’re maintained. However, they can crack and split due to age and uneven expansion from heat exposure. Clay tiles are difficult to replace since they must be removed with special tools, and replacement tiles must be cut precisely to fit together.
  • Cast-in-place. A new liner is created inside a chimney that’s in poor condition, giving it structural integrity. There are various proprietary methods for installing a cast-in-place liner; however, installation should be performed by a knowledgeable professional. While cast-in-place liner installation can cost almost as much as it does to rebuild a chimney, it is a good option for an older, historic home in which the masonry of the original chimney needs to be maintained.
  • Metal. Metal liners are a good option for chimneys without a liner or as a replacement liner. Stainless steel liners are used in woodburning, gas or oil applications, while aluminum liners are an alternative for some gas products. Metal liners also can be rigid for use in straight chimneys or flexible for chimneys that have bends within them. Also, insulation is often used with metal liners to keep higher temperatures in the chimney and to reduce condensation.

Whether you need a liner for a pre-1940s chimney or you need to fix an existing one, contact the chimney professionals at T. J.’s Chimney Service in Greenfield, IN. We can take a look at your chimney and determine the best liner option for your particular needs. The safe use of your fireplace, stove or furnace is our No. 1 priority, so call us today at 317-455-5310.