One of the most common causes of a fire in a home is caused by combustion from a nearby fireplace or wood stove. Many people are realizing that by simply adding or replacing your current chimney liner with a new one they are greatly reducing the risk of combustion and prolonging the life of their fireplace or wood stove.
If you are interested in learning about what a chimney liner could do for you then this is the right article for you! We’ll be talking about what exactly a chimney liner is. And why it’s essential to have one. We’ll cover the average cost for what you should expect to be paying. And then we’ll go over how you should go about installing it yourself. Later on, we’ll also be reviewing some of our personal favorite choices for the best flexible chimney liner kits.
All About Chimney Liner Kits
What is a chimney liner?
It is incredibly common for many wood stove and furnace owners to not know what a chimney liner is, what they are for, or even if their chimney has one or not! To be put very simply, a chimney liner is essentially a secondary, protective wall that helps contain anything traveling up or down the chimney.
The main protection that a chimney liner will provide will be against flue gases. It provides an extra layer of protection to ensure that the gas is unable to enter and pollute the home atmosphere.
Maintaining a fireplace or wood stove without a chimney liner can be quite dangerous as gases such as carbon monoxide monoxide can be lethal in high doses. Definitely not something you would like to breathe in! Not only is flue gas a serious threat to you, it is also a threat to your chimney.
Why you need a chimney liner installed
Without a chimney liner installed, there is nothing protecting your chimney from the toxic gases and over time the masonry of the chimney will begin to erode and rot away. This will dramatically decrease the lifetime of your chimney and will end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
Not having a chimney liner isn’t just bad for your chimney, it is also bad for other things in your house. Including your house itself!
Tests have shown that using a chimney without a chimney liner allowed heat to flow through the chimney so quickly that the adjacent wood combusted in just under 4 hours. If you were to make the unfortunate mistake of falling asleep with your wood stove or fireplace still running your house could catch fire and be completely gone before you even know what happened.
A common question asked is, “If having no chimney liner is so unsafe then why is it not mandatory to have one?” For almost all new chimneys it is required to have one installed along with the chimney itself. Even if your chimney already has a liner, it is very possible that your chimney liner is outdated or underperforming. And if it is defective in any way it could possibly be deteriorating. It is recommended that you talk to a professional about your situation to figure out what are the best steps for you.
Let’s take a look at the common price points you should expect to be see when getting a chimney liner or replacing your old one.
Types of Chimney Liners
Whether you are replacing a current chimney liner or choosing a liner for a new installation, you’ll want to understand all the options available to you. Here are some of the most popular chimney liner types available for different fireplaces and stoves.
Metal Chimney Liners
Metal chimney liners are a very popular choice for recent homeowners. These liners are typically found in stainless steel and are a cost effective solution in terms of materials and installation. They come in both flexible and non-flexible forms.
Clay Tile Chimney Liners
Clay tile liners were used most frequently in the past. Since they were typically installed when the chimney was installed, they’re not easy to replace. You’ll find these in older homes. While they do last quite some time, estimated around 50 years, they aren’t as easy to replace. The cost of the tiles isn’t much but the difficult installation will cost a pretty penny.
Cast In Place Chimney Liners
If a clay tile flue liner isn’t an option, a cast in place option may be your best bet. The cast in process essentially creates a new flue within your chimney. They are typically made of cement-like substance. It results in a flue that is almost impervious to the dangerous gasses and smoke it comes in contact with. These are on the more expensive side and installation can be tricky if the flue has a bend or curve.
Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Cost
One of the most commonly asked questions people have about chimney liners is about the price. This is because chimneys themselves can be expensive to build and repair. In this case, the answer to that question really depends on the size and dimensions of your flue tube. As you can most likely predict, the larger you go in size the more it’s going to cost. To start off you’re going to have to determine a couple things.
First, we need to figure out exactly what the diameter of the flue tube is. This is probably most important because if this number is wrong your chimney liner won’t even attach to the flue tube!
The next thing you’ll need to do is figure out how long you need the chimney liner to be. While your chimney liner will still attach properly with the wrong length dimensions, it could be too small. This will cause you to run into similar issues as if you had no chimney liner at all as some of the area would be left unprotected.
Now that we have all the dimensions we need marked down let’s look at some general prices. Without taking size or anything into account you should expect to pay anywhere from $250 for very small chimney liners as low as 3″ x 20′. And for a liner that’s 8″ x 35′ you could pay all the way up to over $600 for a chimney liner.
On average, chimneys will probably be around 25 feet long with a diameter of 6 inches. Based on those dimensions, on average you should be looking to spend around $400-500 for a solid and well-functioning chimney liner.
Flexible Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Installation
Installing your chimney liner yourself at home can seem like a daunting – and expensive – task. However, there is no need to call and pay a professional more money when you can easily attach it yourself!
The first thing you should be doing with any project is to open the box and get all the materials out. Lie them directly in front of you so there is no confusion or parts you’re digging through the box for.
Assemble Necessary Tools
Next there are a few things we’ll need. To properly insulate the chimney liner, we will require 1/2″ insulation, aluminum foil tape, and an adhesive spray. You will also some wire mesh to keep the insulation sufficiently in place. Also required for insulation you’ll most likely need a ladder for climbing to the roof, a pair of scissors, a spare knife, and tin snippers. The snippers will come in handy for any cutting that may be necessary. Most importantly it will be essential to have a pair of work gloves. The edges and even certain parts of the metal from the chimney liner can be sharp and it would be very easy to accidentally be cut.
Unroll the Chimney Liner
To start, you’ll notice that the chimney liner will be wrapped in plastic and also coiled up. You should use a knife or scissors to cut open the plastic protecting the chimney liner. After that you will need a friend or other person to assist you in straightening the chimney liner out flat on the ground.
Trim the Chimney Liner to Size
Once that is finished, depending on the size of your chimney liner it could be beneficial to cut it down. The best way to do this is to first measure and then poke an initial hole where needed. Mark around the liner with a marker to measure where to cut. Once that is done you can use a pair of tin snippers to cut through the rest of the chimney liner to get it down to the proper size.
Unroll the Insulation
Next, you’ll want to unroll the insulation so that the white side is facing up and the silver side of the insulation is facing down. Take your adhesive spray and spray the entire white side of the insulation. What this does is it basically acts as a glue and helps prevent the insulation from falling off before the tape and wire mesh are applied.
Attach the Liner to the Insulation
Now you should attach the liner to the insulation. The way you do this is simply by just rolling the chimney liner in the insulation. You want this to be as tight of a fit as possible with no room for air to get out. As such when you are rolling anything up, there will be a seam where the rolling ends. You want to use your aluminum foil tape and just tape straight across the seam so it is entirely sealed off.
Cover with Wire Mesh
The last step of the insulation process is to take the wire mesh and start at one end, pulling it down over the length of the entire chimney liner. This will ensure it is covered completely.
Up on the Rooftop
Now you are ready to climb the house to access your chimney. Use your ladder and lean it against a reliable surface and climb onto the roof. You’ll need 1 or 2 extra people to help you carry the liner onto the roof and to help feed it down the chimney.
Feed the Chimney Liner Down
Once you are safely atop the roof with your chimney liner, it is time to begin feeding it down the chimney to the bottom. You should have another person present at the bottom to ensure everything goes smoothly. You will not be able to simply drop the liner straight down the chimney due to the size. So you should slowly feed it down bending the liner as you need to get it to the bottom.
Connect the Liner to the Stove or Furnace
Once you are finished sending the liner down it’s time to connect it to the stove or furnace. At the bottom of the chimney you should simply be able to connect to the back or top of your wood stove or furnace of choice.
Add the Cap
Lastly you need to go back on the roof for one last finishing touch. The cap for some chimney liners are different than others. But the basic principle always remains the same. You should slide the collar for the cap over the chimney liner. It will then be helpful to add silicone where the cap and the chimney meet to help keep it in place. Then screw or drill, depending on what you are required to do. After that you’ll want to put the cap over the top of the liner and screw that on.
Once that is finished you have assembled and installed your very own chimney liner!
Here’s one of our favorite chimney liner installation videos.
Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Kits Reviewed
Choosing the correct chimney liner can be difficult so here are some of our favorite options.
At a median price, this chimney liner kit comes made with 316 stainless steel and an added 13″ x 13″ top plate with rain cap.
If you’re interested in the previous model but your wood stove or furnace requires a tee connection, then this is a great pick. It also comes with the added 13″ x 13″ top plate with rain cap and 316 stainless steel.
This lower priced option comes packed with simple to follow DIY instructions and is very easy to setup. Simply tighten clamps and you are good to go! Also made with 316 stainless steel which exceeds all chimney industry standards.
Like before, if you have interest in this budget option but have a wood stove or furnace that requires a tee socket then this is for you! Comes with the same clamps, DIY instructions, and 316 stainless steel as the one above.
This is the most expensive of the choices but it is well worth the extra money. On top of a tee shaped socket and 316 stainless steel it also comes provided with a lifetime warranty so you are safe no matter how long it’s in use for.