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Q&A Fireplace Insert and chimney liner

Post in 'Questions and Answers' started by QandA, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. QandA

    QandA New Member Staff Member

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    Question:

    We have a 1912 house with a fireplace. The flue is unlined brick and creosote is visible on the chimney visible in the attic. I am looking into options so we can continue to use our fireplace, which we love. Solid flue (brand of masonry liner) is too expensive and i have been told that a steel liner can have hidden problems-such as increased smoking, need for an exhaust fan and the possibility of breaking into a wall to anchor. So that leads me to inserts. Is this a good alternative? How do you choose which one and what about cost, which is definitely an issue! Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated.



    Answer:

    You'll definitely need a new liner. I had the same problem in my own home (1894) and relined the chimney from basement to cap (35'). It's much safer now.

    If you reline and continue to use the fireplace, smoking may occur because the current liner & smoke chamber were designed proportionally to the fireplace opening & depth. By relining, you are changing the physics of the design, and smoking will likely occur.

    So, an insert is your best bet as most only require a six inch flue. And, it's truly more efficient with fireplace-like aesthetics in terms of visual flames. Another alternative is a freestanding stove installed into the fireplace, using the 6" liner.
    Check out the page at the Hearth.com site: http://www.hearth.com/prod.html This contains several top brands of inserts & stoves. You can't go wrong here. And, when your choices are narrowed down, be sure to have a retail pro check out the installation to give you a firm estimate.

    Link: Hearth.com Manufacturer listing page

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