All modern chimneys have chimney liners. Chimney liners play an important role in helping your chimney to operate safely and efficiently, minimizing fire hazards while also improving performance. Despite the important purpose that chimney liners have, however, most homeowners are unfamiliar with their purpose and function.

What is a chimney liner?view down a silver pipe

A chimney liner is “a clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.”

What is the purpose of a chimney liner?


Chimney liners are a safety feature in your fireplace system; their primary purpose is to protect the building materials surrounding your chimney from exposure to the heat from the fireplace. Without a functioning chimney liner, tests conducted by the National Bureau of Standards have shown that framing, walls, and insulation around a chimney can catch fire in as little as three and a half hours.

Chimney liners also play an important role in fireplace function through drafting. A strong and seamless chimney liner that is correctly sized for the fireplace allows smoke and gas to easily pass up and out of the chimney. If the flue is too large or too small, byproducts of combustion may not draft properly, causing health and safety issues for you and your family. Relining the flue, however, is an easy way to ensure the size of the flue matches the size of the fireplace.

Types of chimney liners

There are three types of chimney liners. The type of chimney liner your home needs may depend on many factors including the size of your fireplace and the fuel source it uses. Below are the three most commonly used chimney liners.
  • Clay tile liners. Clay tile liners are the most common type of chimney liner and are the standard choice for most masonry chimneys. Clay liners can last for decades with regular maintenance; however, repairing or replacing the clay tiles can be extremely difficult because of their location within the flue. Because of this, damage to a clay tile liner often results in the chimney being relined.
  • Metal chimney liners. Stainless steel chimney liners are popular choice for chimney liners because they are strong, effective, and durable. High performance metal liners are often the best choice for gas fireplaces and can be used to reline an existing masonry chimney if a new insert is installed.
  • Cast in place liners. Cast in place liners are unique in that they are specially fitted and shaped to your chimney. The cement-like product is applied directly to the inside of the chimney, creating a seamless liner that can also help improve the structural integrity of a damaged fireplace.

Your chimney liner is one of the most vital components of your chimney system. If you have questions about your chimney liner or want to have it inspected, contact Pristine Sweeps today! If your chimney needs to be relined, our expert staff can help you find the right chimney liner for your fireplace – and budget.