Figuring out the cost can be overwhelming when deciding to reline your chimney with a stainless steel chimney liner. This step-by-step guide will help you determine what is included in a chimney liner kit and how to buy the right size. Getting educated about venting is important to vent your appliances safely and efficiently. Chimneys are made unique to each home. There are various applications and styles of stainless steel chimney liners that can be used to vent the appliance correctly. Choosing the least expensive option can cause various problems such as inadequate draft and smokiness entering your home. Look at all the options and choose the best option that suites your chimney. For more information on the benefits of using a chimney liner, please visit another article: Benefits of Chimney Liners
To begin, you will determine which size chimney liner is needed. Next, you will need to figure out which connection adapter and top plate are required. All of these factors determine how much your specific chimney liner kit will cost.
To determine the cost of the stainless steel chimney liner, you will first need to figure out the appropriate diameter and length of the liner. Round, corrugated chimney liners are the least expensive and, if at all possible, should be used. Round chimney liners draft better than rectangle and oval liners. Rectangle and oval liners have corners that can cool the flue and produce more creosote. Measuring the size of the exhaust hole of the appliance is a great place to determine the diameter of the chimney liner. Once the diameter is established, measuring the height of the chimney is the next step. Make sure to measure the entire length of the flue and order more than you need. The diameter of the chimney liner and the height of the chimney will give you a base price to start at.
The next measurement you will need is the inside measurement of the flue. If the appropriate diameter of the chimney liner will not fit down the flue, simply using a smaller chimney liner is a bad idea. Reducing the recommended size of the liner can make the stove not function properly, creating a smoky home. A reduction of .5” to the size of the liner can be done if using the smooth wall flexible liner. When reducing .5”, it is recommended to use a smooth wall liner. Smooth wall flexible liners are more costly than the standard corrugated liner, but a smooth wall liner is a way to avoid having to use an expensive rectangle or oval liner. Plus, a smooth interior wall has a 20% heavier draft rating than the standard corrugated liner.
What if my chimney is an unusual size? When a chimney flue is an unusual size and a large stainless steel chimney liner is necessary, retaining the appropriate cross sectional area inside the flue is essential. This can be obtained by using a rectangle or oval chimney liner. For example, an 8” stainless steel chimney liner is required and the inside measurement of the flue is 7”x13”. A standard 8” round liner will not fit down that flue. An 8” round liner has 50 cross sectional inches of area on the inside of the flue. A 5”x11.56” rectangle stainless steel chimney liner has 51.73” cross sectional inches of area inside the liner. Retaining the equivalent area inside the flue will ensure the liner will have adequate area to draft correctly. There are various sizes of oval and rectangle stainless steel chimney liners available to retain the appropriate area inside the flue and allowing the installation to go smoothly. Rectangle and oval stainless steel chimney liners are the most expensive; however, in some cases, rectangle and oval liners are the only way to safely vent an application without having to do costly demolition of a clay flue or reconstruction of a chimney.
Chimney Liner Component Costs
Four major components make up a standard chimney liner kit. The stainless steel chimney liner, connection adapter, top plate and rain cap are the standard components.
After you have determined the diameter and length of the chimney liner you will then need to specify which connector is appropriate for your chimney set-up. The standard tee connection and the vertical appliance adapter come in any standard chimney liner kit at no additional charge. In the case that the standard connectors won’t work, there are various different styles of tee connections that can be included to the chimney kit for a small cost. Thick chimney walls may require a longer horizontal snout; a 22 inch tee snout for instance. Chimneys that do not extend below the thimble hole of the chimney may call for a short body tee. When none of the standard or variations of adapters will work for your specific chimney, a custom adapter can be made for your specific chimney set-up.
The next factor that will determine the stainless steel chimney liner kit cost will be the top plate. The purpose of a top plate is to seal off the top of the current chimney flue against rain and down draft while supporting the liner in the flue. Most standard chimney liner kits include a 13”x13” top plate. Flat top plates are used when there is an absence of a clay flue. A flat top plate will mount right to the top of the mortar crown of the chimney block. Various sizes are available such as 13”x18” and 18”x18” that can be added to your kit for a small cost. Custom sizes can be made if your chimney flue size is larger than standard sizes.
Terra cotta top plates are available for cases where clay chimney flues protrude through the top of the chimney. These top plates are not standard in a chimney liner kit, so they will be added for an extra cost. Terra cotta clay flues are fragile and cannot have screws drilled through them. The terra cotta top plate fits over the outside of the clay flue while having a one inch over hang. Around the perimeter of the overhang are pressure screws that bud up against the clay tile, holding firmly in place without jeopardizing the integrity of the clay flue. Sizes range from 8”x8”, 8”x13”, 13”x13”, and 13”x18”. All terra cotta top plates are made to be adjustable, fitting most clay chimney flues. Of course not all chimneys are the same, so if a specific size is required contact a custom shop for a custom fit. Terra cotta chimney top plates can make the installation of the chimney liner quick and effortless, making the upgrade on your chimney liner kit worth it.
If a round, stainless steel chimney liner is required for your appliance, you have the choice between a round or square rain cap. There is no difference between the round or square cap. Both caps keep your home protected from rain, snow, critters, and debris. The rain cap is easily connected to the top plate.
If an oval or rectangle chimney liner is required for your appliance, there is only one style chimney cap. This cap will keep your home protected from rain, snow, critters, and debris. The rain cap is easily connected to the top plate.
Chimney Liner Insulation
Chimney liner insulation can also be a factor when determining the cost of a chimney liner system. Chimney liner insulation induces the draft quicker as well as keeps the gases hot inside the flue, cutting down the amount of creosote buildup. Chimney liner insulation will greatly improve the investment made for the chimney liner system and is highly recommended.
When determining the stainless steel chimney liner cost, take a look at all the options and choose the best option for your specific chimney and appliance. Choosing the least expensive option will only provide problems in the future, and will prevent the appliance from functioning properly. When venting gas, wood, coal, or oil, make an informed decision instead of the least expensive.
Article written by Rockford Chimney Supply and used with permission