Total Chimney Care's Blog

Relining Your Oil Flue

What kind of shape is your oil flue liner in? It’s something most homeowners don’t give much thought to. But oil flue liners take a lot of abuse, both from the heat of your furnace and from the acidic nature of the smoke being exhausted through your chimney. Whether from age or due to other factors, your oil flue might eventually require relining.

Why Oil Flues Need to be Relined

There are actually several reasons your oil flue might require a new liner. Some of the most common reasons oil flue liners need to be replaced include:

• Flaking chimney tiles. The soot and smoke generated by your oil furnace is highly acidic. Even if you have your oil flue swept and inspected every year as recommended, the soot and smoke your oil flue endures season after season will take its toll. The tiles within the oil flue will begin to break down and flake away. Once the flue liner degrades enough, the oil flue will need to be relined.

• Water damage. Nothing damages a chimney flue quite like water. If water has made its way into your oil flue, the tile liner can crack or crumble. Unchecked water intrusion into your oil furnace flue can lead to the need for a new chimney liner.

• Improperly sized liner. If you have a new oil furnace installed, it’s likely you’ll need to have your oil flue relined. That’s because today’s more efficient oil furnaces require small liners. In fact, today’s oil furnaces can require flues that are up to 60 percent smaller than traditional ones! To make sure your new oil furnace is properly exhausting, you will need to install an oil flue liner that’s the proper size for your new furnace.

• Missing flue liner. Believe it or not, many home builders or furnace installers will skip lining a chimney altogether. This is an extremely dangerous practice that can put your home at risk of a fire. If your oil furnace flue is missing a liner, you’ll need to have one installed to keep your home safe.

Oil Flue Relining Options

How you choose to reline your oil flue likely will depend on the reason for relining your oil furnace flue. A flue that’s breaking down due to time or water damage might be able to be relined with a specialized cerfractory cement that’s poured down the flue and smoothed into place to fill in any cracks or holes in the damaged masonry. If you’re missing a liner, if your existing liner is metal or if your oil furnace flue needs to be resized to fit a newer furnace, your sweep might recommend installing a stainless steel chimney liner to restore your oil flue furnace liner.

So how do you know if your oil furnace flue needs to be relined and which method for relining your oil flue is best? Call the experts, of course! The sweeps at Total Chimney Care can clean and inspect your oil furnace flue.  If you’re due for an oil flue relining, our sweeps will recommend and install the best oil flue liner for your furnace!

By Steve Sobczak on January 24th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

All About Liners

Your chimney’s liner serves a critical purpose: it protects the exterior masonry from the direct impact of heat. Over time, your liner may develop cracks and need to be replaced or repaired.

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Relining Your Chimney

 If you have a chimney you are probably familiar with the process involved in having your chimney swept and cleaned. Usually this is a routine process but every once in a while when a chimney is inspected a chimney sweep might find that the liner inside of the chimney needs to be replaced and will make the recommendation to the home-owner to do this. Many people are hesitant to spend the extra money to have this process done but it could be the difference between the life or death of your chimney and possibly your surrounding home. To better understand why you must first understand the importance of a chimney liner.

Your chimney's flue liner protects the exterior masonry from excessive heat damage.

Your chimney’s flue liner protects the exterior masonry from excessive heat damage.

The purpose of a chimney liner is to protect the masonry from corrosive byproducts produced when you burn wood or any other fuel in your fireplace. It also serves to protect your house from heat transfer that can lead to the ignition of wood surfaces near the chimney as well as improve the overall functionality and efficiency of your fireplace.

Here at Total Chimney, we offer metal liners and repair existing clay liners with HeatShield. The most common liners are clay tile liners. While a clay tile liner is relatively inexpensive and can be easy to find they do have potential downfalls. Clay tiles like any ceramic are susceptible to fracturing under extreme temperature change. If the clay tiles crack they must be replaced before the fireplace is safely usable again. They also do not do a great job of protecting the masonry from the combustible byproducts of gas appliances.

Metal chimney liners are only slightly less common. These are usually made from a lightweight metal such as aluminum or stainless steel and are often installed when repairing or upgrading a chimney system. They are much more durable than clay tile liners and, depending on the metal used, are very good at keeping combustible byproducts from building up inside the chimney. Stainless steel offers the greatest protection and is suitable for all fuel types. Aluminum is usually only used when dealing with gas appliances only. Metal is an excellent conductor of heat however so high temperature insulation is usually used to counteract this.

It is understandable for a person to be apprehensive about shelling out the extra money for this procedure but it is a necessary part of owning and safely operating your chimney. Studies done in the 1940’s and 1980’s concluded that installing a chimney without a liner is “a little less than criminal” because of the danger it posed to the surrounding house. In these studies woodwork nearby to the unlined chimney caught fire in about 3 ½ hours! It is never worth the risk to operate a chimney that does not meet safety standards. Although the upfront cost may make you wary in the long run it will save you money and potentially catastrophic trouble.

By Steve Sobczak on September 16th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Leave a Comment