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Understanding the Function of Your Chimney Liner

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The chimney is much more complicated than it looks at first glance. With multiple parts making up its existence, homeowners need to be aware of all of them and their roles in order to ensure their chimney is operating safely every year. One part that plays a major role in the operation of the fireplace and chimney is the chimney liner.

Understanding the function of your chimney liner

A liner is on the inside of the chimney and is generally made from clay or metal. In many cases, clay is the preferred type of liner because it is much less expensive and is generally covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. While this type of liner is less expensive, it does have some disadvantages.

The second type of common liner would be a metal chimney liner. These are generally made from either stainless steel or aluminum. These types of liners have a very long lifespan, but they also cost significantly more. In addition, because of the added costs, you may have to upgrade your insurance policy to have it covered in case of damage.

The main purpose of the liner, regardless of its composition, is to absorb the heat created when the fireplace is in use. Its ability to absorb the heat protects the masonry work on the outside of the chimney. It will also prevent creosote from building up on the brick, which is not only dangerous, but will also eat away at the masonry work and cause damage that can be very expensive to repair.

The second purpose of the liner is to create the proper flow of air in and out of your chimney. The flue serves as the pathway for the air to travel out of the fireplace, up the chimney, and outside the home. If this is damaged, you may experience a backdraft, which cannot only blow smoke back into your home, but also blow the fire into the room. Needless to say, it is imperative to have the liner checked every season before you plan to use your fireplace.