by Karen Bates
(last updated October 12, 2015)
If you have a fireplace in your home, you probably enjoy the warmth it offers on chilly days. Not only is a fireplace cozy, it can also be a good way to save some money on energy bills during winter months, when other means of heating your home can get especially pricey.
Although a fireplace can be useful, there are a few things you should be aware of if you use your fireplace on a regular basis. Fireplaces and chimneys need to be properly maintained for them to work efficiently and safely. In fact, if you don't take the right measures to care for your chimney, it could pose a potential fire hazard.
Depending on how old your chimney is, it may require a chimney liner. Chimney liners are conduits that are installed inside of chimneys to protect the walls and contain combustion materials. An older chimney may have been built without a liner, leaving your home susceptible to fire danger. Fortunately, you can solve this problem by adding a chimney liner to an existing chimney. If your chimney was built without a liner, you can choose which type of liner to install.
There are three main kinds of chimney liner materials that you can choose from. Which you will pick can depend on the type of chimney you already have. Consider the following types of chimney liners:
Metal liner. These liners tend to be made of aluminum or stainless steel. This durable type of liner is easy to install and can be rigid or flexible. Metal liners are particularly popular for renovating old chimneys to meet higher safety standards, and are versatile, making them easy to fit into many chimney shapes.
Clay liner. The ceramic units are durable and require little maintenance. While many people like this type of liner, retrofitting them into an older chimney is more complicated than with a metal liner. While being fairly inexpensive materials-wise, the labor costs for installing this liner can be fairly expensive.
If you have a chimney, be sure that it is safe to use and that it is properly lines.
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