Chim Chimney Chim Chimney Chim Chim Cha Roo! Thinking of chimneys often conjures up images of Dick Van Dyke and his chimney sweeps singing and dancing on the rooftops of London. However, there is more to chimneys than that.
Your chimney could possibly be in danger and you may not even know it. Here’s the deal. Older furnaces are less energy efficient and therefore they let out or used to let out really high temperatures of steam out the chimney-around 700 degrees. This number is also added on to the steam that is coming from the hot water heater.
Higher efficiency furnaces do not let out steam that is so high in temperature. A really high efficiency unit (90% and above) does not even use the chimney! They have their own plastic pipes that leave the home from the side of the house because the steam is only about 150 degrees. An 80% efficiency furnace would still use the chimney but the temperate going up it would be drastically reduced to about 400 degrees. Therefore, the big chimneys that are on houses are no longer necessary because these lower temperatures do not need as much room.
Because the whole space of the chimney is not being used by these higher efficiency furnaces, moisture can build up on the side and that and acid can seep through the mortar that holds the bricks or blocks of the chimney together. This can cause problems or destruction to the chimney.
That is why a chimney liner is often necessary. The liner is made of metal and it does like it sounds-it lines the inside of the chimney. This constricts the space and makes it a skinnier flue so that the steam and temperatures can fill up the whole area. The size of the liners can be adjusted according to what type of furnace you have. This liner helps to protect your chimney if you have a newer furnace.
If you aren’t sure if you need a liner-take a look at your chimney. Is it brick? Then you probably need one. Metal chimneys are newer and therefore probably already small enough for your furnace. To check if you already have a liner look at the top of your brick chimney. If you have a liner, you will see a metal flue come out on top, just a little bit higher than the exit to the original flue.
Flame Heating, Cooling and Electrical can install chimney liners in your home for you and they can help you figure out whether or not you need a chimney liner. If you have any questions-call Flame!