Why Do You Need a Chimney Liner?

June 9, 2022 in Chimney Caps

If this is your first time dealing with a chimney, all the terms might be a little confusing to you. For instance, a lot of clients ask us – do I really need a chimney liner? And what exactly is a chimney liner?

So in this article, we’re doing our best to answer that for you.

chimney cap

What is a chimney liner?

A chimney liner is practically the inner lining of the chimney flue (which is the tunnel part of the chimney that rises out of the house). Typically, a chimney liner will be made out of ceramic, clay, or even metal, and its main purpose will be to contain the flammable materials, and the fire and smoke themselves, and direct them safely out of the chimney, and into the outside world.

Another important purpose of the chimney liner is to protect the chimney itself, and prevent corrosion and overheating. 

So do you really need a chimney liner?

If you were under the mistaken impression that the purpose of a chimney liner was to simply add some extra safety to your chimney, you couldn’t be more wrong. A chimney liner is a vital part of your chimney construction, as it’s essential in directing the smoke through and out of the house. Without a liner, the smoke eventually begins to deteriorate the walls of the chimney flute, and seep through.

Except your chimney needs to efficiently be able to release smoke, because when it can’t do that, the chances of a chimney fire vastly increase. This happens because, without a chimney liner, the inner walls are more prone to accumulating soot and creosote, which in time become flammable. 

Another purpose of your chimney liner is that it helps carry out the carbon monoxide released by the fire. If the carbon monoxide is unable to go outside, it will eventually spill back into the house, and cause intoxication. 

Not only that, but a chimney liner is a great idea also in terms of energy efficiency. A chimney liner minimizes the loss of heat and helps the fire burn more brightly. This means your home retains more heat, from the same fire.

The lining is also used to promote a longer lifespan for the chimney itself which, otherwise exposed to moisture and smoke, would eventually break down and pose a serious safety hazard. 

Last but not least, chimney lining makes it that much easier to actually perform chimney maintenance. Since the lining is a lot easier to take apart and clean than the brick-and-mortar, the lining is a great way to ease your future cleaning jobs.

So to put it simply, yes, you need a chimney liner, because it protects your home against a chimney fire.

Who needs a chimney liner?

Well, the short answer is everyone with a chimney requires a chimney liner. It’s important to have your chimney assessed regularly, to ensure it is in proper working order, even if you already have a chimney liner. Because of the passage of time, your existing liner may become weakened or deteriorate significantly, which can once more increase the risk of fire. So you may have to replace your chimney liner, eventually.

As for those without a chimney liner, we don’t recommend starting a fire without one. Many chimneys dating back to the 1920s are either without a liner or are lined with clay tiles, which form an extra layer of protection between the bare brick-and-mortar construction of the chimney, and the path of the smoke itself. However, in time, the clay tiles (as well as the mortar holding them together) start to decay, so will need to be replaced.

Tips For Keeping Your Chimney Liner Clean

May 10, 2022 in Chimney Caps

The chimney is an essential part of the house, although because of its secluded nature, we often forget to treat it as one. As such, homeowners regularly neglect to clean their chimney liners properly, which can, in turn, result in some serious problems. Keeping your chimney liner clean is important, because this, in turn, reduces the risk of flue fires.

So in this article, we’ll talk about some tips on how you can keep your chimney liner clean, and running at maximum efficiency. This way, you’re able to enjoy lovely fires, without worrying about everyone’s safety.

  • Burn dry, seasoned wood.

Some people aren’t aware of this, but there is a huge difference between burning dry, seasoned wood, and burning greenwood. While both do, indeed, burn, they do so at different temperatures, and with different combustion byproduct levels.

In other words, burning green wood has a higher chance of condensing inside the flue, leading to creosote accumulation. Because creosote is highly flammable, it is important to keep it at a bare minimum.

This is why it’s usually preferable to burn dry, seasoned wood that lights up more easily, emits fewer byproducts, and leads to less accumulation inside the chimney.

  • Install a chimney cap.

Another essential step towards a clean and efficient chimney liner is the installation of a chimney cap. One important benefit of installing a chimney cap is that it will keep out wildlife, and with it, various natural debris that can act as kindling in case of a fire, and prove immensely dangerous.

Another benefit of having a chimney cap fitted is that it will also serve to keep out some harmful elements like rain or strong gusts of wind. Heavy quantities of water can, in time, significantly destroy the lining of your chimney, and increase fire hazards. So installing a chimney cap is not only prudent but very necessary.

However, it’s important to clean your chimney cap regularly because it can also amass creosote, over time, and this can increase the risks of fire.

  • Hire a chimney sweep.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your chimney, or if it’s just been a while since you last cleaned out your chimney, it might be a good time to hire a professional chimney sweep.

A chimney sweep will be able to properly examine the state of your chimney liner, and determine what needs to be done, in order to ensure maximum efficiency and safety. 

  • Look for warning signs.

It can be all too easy to forget about your chimney or to keep putting off that annual inspection until it is too late. This is why we think it’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs that your chimney is becoming clogged.

Soot or creosote falling into the fireplace when you’re having a fire is a good sign that there is something wrong with your chimney, as is creosote accumulation that is over ⅛ inches thick.

Should you clean your chimney yourself?

Honestly, by far the best practice for maintaining a clean and safe chimney liner is to examine and clean it regularly. But many homeowners wonder about that – do you need to hire a professional to clean your chimney, or can you get away with doing it yourself?

Well, it depends. 

Cleaning your chimney requires a lot of effort and considerable skill. It can also be dangerous since chimney cleaning is best done from above. So for many homeowners, it just makes more sense to hire a professional, as they’re better able to get out stubborn residue and reduce any personal effort to a minimum.

How To Improve The Safety of Your Chimney

April 11, 2022 in Chimney Caps

The chimney is, by and large, a wonderful invention. It allows us to have a fire, and thus essentially heating, indoors, without running the major risk of our house burning down. Well, while that is still a major concern, modern chimneys have significantly reduced the risk of fire. This is why it’s important that we also do what we can to maintain our chimneys as safely as humanly possible.

Below, you will find some easy tips to improve the safety of your chimney and make sure your indoor fires don’t come with any additional danger.

  • Inspect the chimney regularly.

It should be paramount for any home to conduct a chimney inspection at least once a year. This is when a professional comes to take a look at your chimney, and fix any little issues that need fixing. It’s a great opportunity to ensure your chimney is in proper working order, that there aren’t creatures or debris cluttering the insides of your chimney, and posing a fire hazard.

If the lining of the chimney has in some way become damaged this can seriously increase the risk of fire, the next time you light up the fireplace, so it’s important to ensure against that.

  • Clean out your fireplace.

Cleaning the fireplace is a largely dreaded and unpleasant task, especially since you don’t usually see a notable difference once you’re done with this task. And even if you do, won’t it just get mucked up again?

Actually, regularly cleaning the fireplace limits the emissions of fire, and also saves on energy, improving future fire quality. It also helps the airflow out more easily, and thus gives you better combustion the next time to light a fire.

How often should you clean out your fireplace? Well, it generally depends on how often you’re using it, but we’d say it’s probably a good idea to clean out the fireplace at least twice a year. If you’re using it extensively (e.g. every day), you’ll probably want to clean it every few months or so.

  • Install a chimney cap.

While many homeowners tend to overlook the importance of chimney caps, these actually shouldn’t be missing from any proper household. The idea behind the chimney cap is it keeps various things and critters from getting into your chimney.


First of all, a chimney cap works to protect your chimney from becoming a home for various wild animals, like squirrels, birds, and so on. The presence of these animals and their nests poses a  serious fire hazard, and ought to be avoided at all costs.

A chimney cap also protects the inner lining of your chimney from the elements (rain, strong gusts of wind, etc.), which can decrease safety, and also pose a fire risk.

  • Clean the chimney cap regularly.

Most chimney caps come with a wire mesh that sits atop the chimney. While this allows the fumes to rise out seamlessly, it can amass creosote, which can, in turn, make your home less energy-efficient, and increase flammability. This is why you’ll want to regularly clean your chimney cap, to maximize efficiency.

  • Install smoke detectors.

Just as a safety precaution, it is prudent to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, to ensure everything is running smoothly. The trouble with fireplaces is that you may not at first detect something wrong in the atmosphere, and only become alerted to the fire when it is too late.

Professional detectors, like a chimney cap, will increase the value of your home, and also improve the safety of you and your loved ones.