Does A Chimney Need A Flue Liner? [10 Reasons To Install One]

Are chimney liners necessary? Do you need one in your chimney? Let’s go through why you should install one.

Chimney lining is primarily installed to enhance the safety of your chimney. What more?

When it comes to property transfer, part of inspection requirements includes having a chimney liner installed.

As the name suggests, a chimney liner acts as a barrier between the chimney structure and flue gases being released?

10 Reasons Your Chimney Needs A Flue Liner

With proper channeling of combustion gases, the chimney structure is kept in good shape.

Heat damage is properly contained.

To better understand whether a chimney needs a liner, it’s important to first begin by mentioning the benefits derived from chimney liner installation.

Do I Need A Chimney Liner For A Gas Furnace Or Wood Burning Stove?

When it comes to benefits offered by liners, you’ll need to look at it from various angles such as safety, energy efficiency, and prevention of moisture & creosote.

All of these benefits are derived by simply having a chimney properly lined. L

et’s further discuss each of these points as follows;

  • Safety

An unlined aging chimney is likely to leak out exhaust gases and smoke from a fireplace. When smoke leaks in, your household are exposed to such harmful gases.

However, with chimney liners in place, the chances of that happening are greatly reduced.

One of the key benefits of the chimney liner is that it’s properly sealed and insulated, thus eliminating exhaust and heat leaks. The effect is a safer chimney structure.

Also, creosote, carbon dioxide, and smoke get channeled out without sticking to chimney walls.

  • Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a major benefit derived from installing a chimney liner. A home’s energy efficiency is impacted positively when the chimney draft is improved.

With a good draft comes better energy efficiency.

  • Prevention of Creosote Buildup

Insulated chimney liners tend to prevent temperature loss by keeping exhaust gases hot enough to exit the chimney. Without insulation, such gases are likely to condense onliners to form creosote layers.

With a steady buildup of creosote and soot, a chimney fire is likely to result due to the flammable nature of creosote.

  • Prevention of Moisture

One of the benefits derived from chimney liner installation is moisture prevention.

Unlike what’s obtainable where moisture gets trapped leading to cracks caused by freeze-thaw cycles, liner installations limit that considerably.

Do I Need A Chimney Liner?

From the benefits stated above, it’s clear that the chimney liner is an important component that improves functionality. So, yes!

You need a chimney liner for many reasons ranging from stain prevention, the efficiency of operation, and the prevention of exhaust leaks.

Other reasons for having a chimney liner include improvement of appliance operation and improved upward flow of gases. Let’s further discuss each of these points as follows;

  • Stain Prevention

Do you need a chimney liner for a wood stove insert? Yes.

A chimney without lining is likely to cause stains on either exterior or interior walls of a building. This is mostly due to the seeping of tar and condensates through such walls.

All that is prevented when there’s a chimney liner.

Such liner not only contains tar and condensates but also reduces their formation. This is seen when hot exhaust gases are expelled out of the chimney due to the presence of an insulated liner.

  • Efficiency of Operation

One of the advantages of having a chimney liner installed is that it improves operational efficiency. Chimneys having large flues measuring over 200mm coupled with voids tend to contribute to the poor performance of heating appliances.

This is why most manufacturers of heating appliances specify smaller liners to guarantee efficient operation. This is what a liner does.

It significantly enhances the operational efficiency of heating devices or appliances. This in turn positively impacts the overall energy efficiency of the system.

  • Prevention of Exhaust Leaks

A chimney flue may serve your needs for a significant amount of time. However, efficiency steadily decreases as the flue reaches its lifespan expiration.

The results is a defective flue that leaks smoke and other byproducts of combustion. When such leaks into the building, it causes all sorts of health risks.

With the chimney liner, all such problems are contained. The liner extends the lifespan of the flue and ensures that exhaust gases only move out of the chimney through a single exit hole.

In other words, exhaust leaks are eliminated with such provision.

  • Improvement of Appliance Operation

When a chimney is located or installed on external walls, the tendency of hot exhaust gases to lose heat is high.

This requires installing a liner in addition to insulation. An insulated liner helps retain the heat until the gases are safely expelled from the chimney.

So, what happens when the temperature drops before it is expelled?

Without insulation, and with the chimney located on an outside wall, exhaust gases from a chimney move slower with a great deal of condensation occurring on chimney walls. This leads to the formation of creosotes.

With a liner in place, there’s a general improvement in the operation of your heating appliances.

  • Improved Upward Flow of Gases

When flue systems within a chimney develop fault over time, they create uneven or rough internal surfaces. This ends up causing frictional resistance to exhaust gases moving up.

With such resistance comes a delay in the expulsion of such gases, thus leading to cooling and creosote formation.

This is where a chimney liner comes in handy. The liner comes with smooth surfaces that eliminate frictional resistance allowing for free movement of smoke and gases out the chimney.

Different Types of Chimney Liners

Chimney lining comes in various forms.

The three major types include clay tile liners, cast-in-place liners, and metal chimney liners. Of these three, the metal liners, e.g steeel-made ones, are the most recent and are widely used for chimney construction.

Chimney liners come in varying sizes and shapes to fit a wide range of uses. To know which liner will be best for your chimney, it’s best to discuss it with a chimney expert.

The liner type being used largely depends on the device being used.


It’s never advisable to take unilateral decisions without consulting professionals. Their input ensures you derive maximum benefit from your chimney liner.

If you had doubts about the need to have a liner installed in your chimney, what you’ve read so far should throw more light on this key chimney component.

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