How Are Home Heating and Chimneys Related? What you need to know!

home heating system working by using chimneys Did you know that homes that don’t have fireplaces still may have a chimney in use? For over 100 years, home heating equipment has been vented through chimneys.  This ensures that dangerous flue gases are carried up and out of the home instead of entering living space.  New and older units require chimney linings for venting, so whether you’re planning to install a new furnace or boiler, one likely item on your to-do list should be to line your chimney. Chimney liners aren’t just a good idea – they are required to help maintain the proper performance of your heating equipment.

Oil and gas-fired appliances need to vent to the outside to avoid a build-up of carbon monoxide. Newer, high-efficiency furnaces may vent out the side of the home’s foundation rather than up the chimney. If they use the chimney for ventilation, the chimney, as built, may be damaged or too big to properly vent a newer gas furnace.

If you plan to vent any appliances through the chimney, a chimney liner may be in order. There are three good reasons to line an existing chimney.


1: Carbon Monoxide

As we all know, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that infects the bloodstream. Initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poising are headache, dizziness, confusion and nausea, but can lead to brain damage or even death. More than 400 Americans die of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year.  If your chimney is unlined (which would be typical for an older home), or lined and damaged, investing in a chimney liner is imperative to ensure safe venting, even if you don’t intend to replace the appliances that use your chimney. The last thing that you want is exposure to deadly carbon monoxide from your fireplace.


2: Further Chimney Damage

To line a chimney is to protect it from your appliances. Combustion is a messy process. It can leave behind some caustic by-products that won’t do your chimney any favors. Over time, these chemicals can eat away brick, as well as the mortar that holds your chimney together.  Installing a new stainless steel sleeve that is more resistant to acid breakdown will protect the structural integrity of the chimney.

Which brings us right back to Reason #1 to line your chimney. If the mortar inside your chimney deteriorates, the chimney will become even better at transferring flue gases to the surrounding areas. Read more about common signs that your chimney needs repairing.


3: Efficiency

To line your chimney is to promote efficiency. A chimney cannot draw properly if it is too big for the equipment, or even worse, too small.  Additionally, flues that have holes in it will have a hard time pushing those gases through cleanly.  Think of it as a straw with a hole in it – It just won’t work right.   A chimney liner can size your flue appropriately for your appliances to optimize maximum potential.


Do you have questions about your chimney and whether it needs a new liner? We’re at the top of your local chimney lining installation companies. 

Feel free to call us at Boston’s Best to answer your questions and schedule an inspection

for your home.

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