Chimney Liner: Important Section of the Fireplace & Chimney

One of the most important components of your fireplace and heating system is the flue and the chimney liner. Any time our CSIA-certified technicians perform a chimney inspection, we look closely at the condition of the chimney flue liner.

Purpose of a Chimney Liner

The liners exhaust the flue gases and smoke out of your fireplace or furnace flue and allow the hot and toxic gases to exit your home safely. Any breaks or openings in the chimney liner can lead to serious problems, potentially allowing a spark or floating ember to escape into the area between the lining and the chimney or allowing the intrusion of carbon monoxide into the living space.

While we hear about chimney fires, CO2 poisoning happens all too often in our homes and is known as the “silent killer” because there is no odor associated with the gas.

Chimney technician fitting a new liner into a flue

Is Your Fireplace System Sick?

Cracks, breaches or deterioration of your flue can affect the way your system performs, affecting the way it draws and interfering with the draft. The flue system acts like a straw, causing the flue gases to be pulled up and out of the system from the top. If the flue has cracks or missing mortar joints, it will not perform as intended, similar to drinking out of a straw with holes in it.

What To Do

Relining your fireplace, woodstove, furnace or water heater flue with stainless steel is the most common method used to repair a damaged or deteriorated chimney flue. We also find in some of the older fireplaces that a flue was never installed and this needs to be corrected as quickly as possible for safety and to bring the chimney up to the current standards and codes.

When a new furnace, boiler or water heater is installed, a new liner may be needed to properly size the more efficient appliance. The sizing is important because as the flue gases rise, they cool and condense. If the flue/liner is too large, the gases may not vent properly. In Virginia, to meet code, the system must be certified to be free of defects and be sized properly when a new appliance is installed.

The HeatShield® Method is the Choice for Clay Liners

If you have a clay or terracotta liner, you need to check out HeatShield® and see what can be done to restore many of these types of liners. We are one of the most experienced companies in this process and it allows you to restore your chimney liner in a very affordable way.

Chimney Technician cutting excess off of new chimney liner

As with all fireplace and chimney-related services, our technicians are certified trained and experienced in all types of chimney liner replacements. Contact us today and give us a chance to wow you!

Check out our rating on Angie’s List (#1 chimney company since 2009) or on The Better Business Bureau website (A+ rating).


If you think you may have a leaky chimney, call Winston’s right away. Water can cause major damage if not repaired promptly. Take advantage of Winston’s dryer vent and chimney service to avoid major problems down the road.