This time of year, it is hard not to think about Santa. The old tale that on Christmas Eve he slips his way into homes via the chimney in order to leave gifts for good children is being told to kids all across America each December. Of course, the story always begs the question, “What about homes without chimneys and fireplaces?” Usually a creative alternative is produced, but we are here to pose another question: What about homes with chimney liners?
First we need to start at the beginning. A chimney liner is exactly what its name says it is–a metal lining that fits into your chimney. It is used to reduce the size of the inside of your chimney. Why? Older, less efficient furnaces and hot water heaters vent out of the chimney. Some older furnaces are even venting out steam at up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit! With those high temperatures, that air needs a lot of room in order to escape.
Newer furnaces are much more efficient and don’t waste as much as heat. Therefore, any steam vented out of the home does not need that amount of space anymore. This is where the chimney liner comes in. If you have a newer furnace, you want to reduce the space inside your chimney because otherwise moisture can build up, leading to problems with the bricks and mortar. Very high efficiency furnaces (90% AFUE and above) don’t even vent through the chimney at all–they have special PVC pipes located on the side of the home.
That depends on two factors: the age of your home and the age and type of furnace you have. Newer homes tend to be built with smaller, metal chimneys and might not require a chimney liner. Whereas, older homes with big brick chimneys are more likely to require one, if you have a new furnace. If you are unsure, feel free to contact a professional to learn more about the requirements for your home and chimney.
Most definitely, yes. If you have ever seen Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause, then you know that Santa is able to magically squeeze himself down even the smallest of pipes. He may even be entering in through your home’s high efficiency furnace PVC pipes this year!