What Is A Fireplace Liner? The Types You Should Know

A fireplace liner is just as the name describes. It is a lining that would go inside the fireplace and can extend into the chimney. 

One of the reasons you need a fireplace liner is because it offers safety for your fireplace, chimney, family, and any appliances close by. The main aim of a fireplace liner is to create a direct and clear path for smoke to exit the house. That is why most of the chimney liners are extended into the fireplace. 

When you do not have a fireplace liner, then the fireplace together with the chimney will deteriorate the walls soon or later. Thus, smoke other contaminants would seep through the cracks. 

So far you can see how important it will be for those who might have a wood-burning fireplace. This helps in the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning since most of the smoke is cleared fast. 

Types Of Fireplace Liners

The fireplace or chimney liners will be available in different types. Below are the most common types of liners in the market. 

  • Clay tile liners. They are the most common and would be readily available in a store close to you. They are still inexpensive to install. However, the common drawbacks are they tend to absorb and distribute heat. 
  • Metal liners will be the other option too. Such have higher durability as they are made of stainless steel and aluminum. They can cost more but they are safe and durable. 
  • Cast-in-place liners are made using cement. They will often be hard to install but will help improve the structural integrity of the chimney. You can expect a lifespan of 50 years if you take good care of such liners. 
  • Ceramic or thermocrete liners are still new but can assure you of the best durability. Many homeowners are willing to pay $5,000 for this type of liner simply because of its durability and performance. 
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How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Fireplace Liner?

A chimney or fireplace liner will cost an average of $2,500. In case you go for the expensive materials, the prices can go up to $5,000. Nevertheless, you can get some easy-to-install options made of aluminum which can be as low as $625. So, it depends on the type of liner you pick. 

How Do I Know If My Fireplace Needs A New Liner?

The easiest way would be physically checking to see if you have a liner or not. If it does not exist, that is the first sign that you should get yourself a fireplace liner. 

Depending on the state where you line, some mandate that you should have a fireplace liner. A good example is Chicago. You always have to ensure that your chimney has a liner. So, check with the local municipality to see if a liner is mandated or not. 

When you notice your chimney walls are deteriorating faster than normal, then a liner is necessary. This is because liners can wear easily. So, at times there is the need to have the chimney liner replaced as soon as possible. 

Let us say you are moving into a new home. Ensure to check if the chimney is lined or not. If the house has an older clay liner installed, make sure it is changed to something newer that can also withstand usage over time. 

At times you might have a new liner, but there is a lot of condensation too. This means there is water getting into the chimney. We all know that moisture is a big enemy for both the fireplace and chimney. You may have to use a new liner to insulate the chimney better and keep any moisture out. 

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Another reason for a new liner is if you are converting your gas fireplace to a wood-burning fireplace or vice versa. Ensure that the chimney is inspected first before adding the liner. This ensures there is proper venting of the fireplace. 

How Long Does A Fireplace Liner Last?

The best part about fireplace or chimney liners is that they last a long time. You can expect an average of 15 to 20 years. Well, after two decades, you should definitely replace the line. Of course, occasional inspections are also recommended. This ensures that the chimney liner is still up to code and would not lead to a fire hazard. 

In case you opt for some cheap liners, they might need replacing after five years. As such, it is best to invest in durable fireplace liners to avoid any inconveniences in the near future. 

Conclusion: Do You Really Need A Fireplace Liner?

Yes. The fireplace needs a liner as soon as possible. This is especially if you are running a wood-burning fireplace. As we have already seen, a fireplace liner helps in protecting your walls from deterioration and also provides a clear path for smoke to exit into the chimney and subsequently out of your home. 

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