There are some things you can do to prepare for installing your new chimney liner which will make the process easier and less expensive than it could be if you do not plan ahead adequately. You may need to install a new chimney liner for a variety of reasons, including making an old leaky chimney safer, resizing your flue to fit the specifications required for a new woodstove insert, or replacing an existing liner that has damage due to wear and corrosion. With careful planning and preparation, your new chimney liner installation should be accomplished quickly and at minimal cost to you.
If you think you may need a new chimney liner, the first thing you should do is have a chimney professional come out and inspect your existing system. He or she will identify any existing problems with your current liner and recommend steps you can take to remedy them, including possibly installing a new chimney liner. Your chimney professional can also recommend ways you can improve your system’s overall efficiency. This may include putting a woodstove insert in your fireplace or installing a new chimney liner that is better sized to improve your chimney’s draft.
If you have determined that you will need to install a new chimney liner, you will need to clean your chimney, fireplace or woodstove thoroughly before the new installation begins. If you have the proper tools, no fear of heights, and are willing to get dirty, you may be able to clean your chimney system yourself. But, it might be better to have a professional chimney sweep do the cleaning for you in advance of installing a new chimney liner, since he or she will be able to see potential structural problems and correct them before the liner installation begins. A chimney professional will also know how to do a more thorough cleaning of your entire system than you may be able to do yourself.
To prepare for installing your new chimney liner, be sure you know exactly what type of liner you need for the uses you have in mind for your chimney. If you are putting in a new woodstove insert, for example, you should follow the manufacturer’s specifications concerning what size diameter chimney liner to connect it to, and what materials the liner should be made of. A wood burning appliance may require a different stainless steel alloy for its flue liner than a high efficiency gas or oil burning furnace, so be sure you select the correct liner materials before you begin your project.
Take careful measurements to be sure you are getting the right size liner for your chimney. The liner should reach from the top of your chimney to the damper throat or other connection at the bottom of your flue. Also, measure the inside diameter of your existing flue to be sure the required diameter of liner will fit inside it. Allow room for proper chimney liner insulation. If you need a larger liner diameter than will fit inside your flue, you may need to prepare for installing your new chimney liner by having a mason remove the existing clay liner tiles from your chimney to make room for the new liner.
As you prepare for installing your new chimney liner, be realistic about which parts of the job you can do yourself and which parts are better left to experts. A properly installed chimney liner will improve your home’s safety and energy efficiency, but an improperly installed liner could be dangerous. If you are not familiar with building and fire safety code requirements, or if you are not experienced working with chimney systems, it might be a good investment to hire a chimney professional to do most, or all, of the work of installing your new chimney liner for you.