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Flue liners and chimneys
When deciding on your new fireplace it is essential to understand how the chimney and flue will affect your final installation. The flue is the centre part of the chimney and allows the passage of the products of combustion to travel from the stove or fire through the building to a safe point to exit from the property. Flues almost always have bends and rarely travel straight up from a fireplace to the chimney. A flue liner may be needed as part of your fireplace installation.
Types of flue liner
There are three main types of flue liner and these can be used for solid fuel fires, gas fires and stoves.
These are the most commonly used and come in various diameters and materials. A typical wood-burning stove would require a twin stainless steel flue liner with a diameter of 150mm. Costs from £850, depending on property age and access. These liners last approximately 10-20 years.
This liner can be used to achieve a liner to required specifications. A forma is placed down the chimney and inflated while using cement like filler to surround it. The forma is then deflated and removed, leaving a cavity that forms the flue. Costs from £1100 and lasts for 20 years.
Sections of liner are lowered down from the top to the bottom of the flue and sealed at each joint. This system requires the opening up of the chimneybreast at the point of a bend to guide the sections into place. This is a good choice for larger diameter flues in large fireplaces and may require scaffolding. Costs will be from £2500 but the liners last for up to 60 years.
It is essential that all flues are checked on an annual basis for safety reasons and those for wood-burning stoves should be swept at least once every heating season.
Why might you need a flue liner?
- Safety: If the structure of the flue has deteriorated this can cause dangerous gases to be released into the home. For example, if the mortar in a brick constructed chimney has eroded, harmful products from combustion can be released into the property, which can prove fatal.
- Efficiency: The efficiency listings of products are produced in lab conditions, using a perfectly sized flue and optimal updraft (rate of movement up the flue). To achieve this optimum efficiency a flue liner may be required.
- Compliance: Many appliance manufacturers specify a flue diameter in order to validate the warranty of an appliance. A flue lining can be used to achieve these specifications.