Have you ever been told that you need a chimney liner installed when you are having a furnace or boiler installed in your St. Paul or Minneapolis home? Have you then asked yourself, “What is that and why?”.
A chimney liner is exactly what is sounds like. It is an aluminum or flexible material pipe that gets inserted down your brick chimney. A majority of older homes that are primarily located in Minneapolis or Saint Paul proper have their water heater, boiler, or furnace exhaust venting to a brick chimney. This is not the same chimney that you have for your fireplace or that Santa Claus climbs down.
Code requirements are that any chimney that does not have a metal liner needs to have one installed anytime that the venting to chimney is altered in any manner. This usually happens when you have a new water heater, furnace, or boiler replaced. The reason for the code requirement was that fumes could enter the home through the holes created in the mortar as the mortar cracked and fell out between the bricks.
At Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air, we have seen a lot of improper installations and outright deception regarding chimney liner installs. This is due to contractors not being licensed, being lazy or trying to save money on the install. Some of the installs that we have seen are:
- Furnace venting installed to chimney and not hooked up to liner.
- Furnace venting installed to chimney and no liner.
- Liner top installed but not all the way down.
- Improper size liner installed.
- No liner installed and not caught because no permit pulled.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, your furnace or boiler performance is only as good as the install. Having the proper size and installation of your chimney liner is critical to the long term life of your equipment. Make sure you ask about your chimney and the need to do a liner when you are looking at having your heating system replaced. Think twice about going with any HVAC contractor that does not know what you are talking about or says it is not important.
You can count on Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air to inform you of all the aspects of your furnace or boiler install and what is needed for your home. You can call us or schedule online.