What is a chimney flue liner and why does your home's chimney network need one

What Is a Chimney Flue Liner?

Your chimney flue liner is a fundamental element of your fireplace network.

Not only is a chimney liner a code-compliant necessity for transferring ownership of a home over to a new person, but it is also a safety consideration, moving heat and dangerous toxins out of your home and into the great outdoors. 

If you use a chimney at home, you need a flue liner that is in good working shape.

If yours is missing or damaged, immediate professional servicing is required before it will be safe to use your chimney again.

In this article, we look deeper at what a chimney flue liner is, how they work, and why you need yours. 

What Is the Difference Between Flue and Chimney?

Is a flue liner the same thing as a chimney?

Your chimney is typically thought of as the part of your fireplace system that is outdoors, exposed to the elements.

Look out on your roof, and you’ll be able to see it. A rectangular tower of bricks jutting out from the top of your roof. 

Chimneys are a safety feature that directs smoke and heat out of your home. Because your chimney is so important, it is crucial to get it serviced annually. 

On the other hand, your flue liner can be considered the interior element. A tube-like material that helps direct smoke and heat up the chimney and out of your house.

The two features work together to help keep you and your family safe. 

Does a Chimney Need a Flue Liner? 

Your home definitely does need a flue liner if you are going to be using your fireplace.

Even using your fireplace once without a properly and professionally installed flue liner can cause serious health side effects for your family, including, but not limited to carbon monoxide poisoning

Do All Chimneys Have to Be Lined? 

So, to reiterate, yes. All functional, fire-burning chimneys need a flue liner to be considered safe.

If your home passed code inspection, chances are it already has a flue liner installed.

However, if you fear yours is damaged or missing, it’s important to consult with a professional service service to get the issue resolved promptly. 

Are Unlined Chimneys Safe? 

Chimneys without a flue liner run the risk of inadequately filtering carbon monoxide, smoke, and heat from your home.

The very best-case scenario when using a chimney without the proper flue liner is that your house will smell like smoke and fire.

The worst-case scenarios involve a trip to the hospital. 

How Many Flues Are in a Chimney

Chimneys will often have two or more flues, venting all of the fireplaces in your home and any other major appliances that require an exterior exhaust feature.

Regular professional inspections can help ensure that your flues are unobstructed and in working order. 

The Main Types of Chimney Liners

There are many types of chimney flue liners, from stainless steel to clay and concrete

While flue liners perform ostensibly the same function, there are many different types that you might encounter. This is particularly true for older homes.

Below, we examine the numerous liners you will likely encounter. 

Chimney Flue Liner Clay

Clay flue liners perform the same function as any other, filtering unsafe air out of your home.

They have a life expectancy of around fifty years, making them a durable and efficient choice for homeowners seeking longevity. 

Stainless Steel Chimney Flue Liner 

Stainless steel chimney flue liners are used with both wood-burning and gas appliances. They have an expectancy of around fifteen years. 

Cast-In-Place Flue Liner 

A little different than our previous options, the cast-in-place flue liner is used to maintain your chimney's structural integrity. 

What Type of Chimney Liner Do I Need? 

The kind you need will depend on your budget and what you hope to accomplish. It’s always a good idea to consult several professionals to determine which option is best for you. 

Chimney Flue Repair and Replacement

Learn all about chimney flue repair and replacement for your home's chimney network

How often you need to replace a chimney liner depends on the materials, how often it is used, and what variables take place. 

How Often Do Chimney Liners Need to Be Replaced? 

As mentioned above, how long a flue liner lasts will be determined largely by what it is made of.

Stainless steel units last for around fifteen years, while a clay unit can last fifty years. 

How Do You Know If Your Chimney Liner Needs to Be Replaced? 

While there are many signs, one of the first that most people notice is that the interior of their fireplace is beginning to experience heat damage.

This is happening because the flue liner is no longer extracting heat and gasses with the same efficiency level as it used to.

If you notice this, stop using your fireplace immediately, and call in the call in the pros. 

Can You Install a Flue Liner Yourself?  

Technically it’s possible. However, 9.5 out of 10 times, it isn’t a good idea.

The installation itself is dangerous, and if you don’t do it right, you could cause major health problems for yourself and your family.

It’s much better to let professionals do their work. 

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Lining in a Chimney? 

The cost for a new flue liner can vary between $700-7000 depending on the materials and complexity of the job. 

Make Sure Your Chimney Flue Liner Is Ready For Winter

With winter coming, now is the time to ensure your flue liner is in working order. Get your chimney looked at by a professional team you can trust.

Interested in learning more about fireplace maintenance and safety? Check out some of our other posts on chimney maintenance and repair.


If your chimney flue liner needs repair or replacement, reach out to us for a quote

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