If your chimney liner installation conforms to chimney liner industry standards, your chimney should give you many years of safe and efficient operation. A properly designed and installed chimney liner is a crucial part of your overall home fuel burning system. If you have any fuel burning appliance in your home, whether a fireplace, woodstove, water heater, or gas, coal or oil-fired furnace, it is attached to a venting system designed to safely remove combustion gases. A fireplace or woodstove insert will vent its gases up the chimney. Other appliances may also be vented up the chimney, but they may also have vent pipes dedicated solely to their use that are not connected to the chimney.
A properly lined chimney improves the performance of your fuel burning system in several ways. By safely transferring potentially deadly gases out of your house, your chimney liner is one of the most important safety features of your home. A properly sized chimney liner improves the draft of your system so that you burn fuel more efficiently and have less buildup of creosote and ash inside your chimney. Your chimney liner also extends the life of your chimney by keeping water and other corrosive compounds from damaging bricks and degrading mortar.
In order to accomplish all of these things, your chimney liner has to be correctly sized, made of appropriate materials, and installed properly. If your chimney liner is Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved and meets the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for chimneys, fireplaces, vents, and solid fuel burning appliances (NFPA 211), you can be confident that your system will be safe and efficient and provide you with decades of good service.
Underwriters Laboratories specifies the proper materials and testing standards for a wide range of commercial and consumer products, including chimney system components. Many chimney liner products are UL tested and approved, and many other are listed as meeting UL standards, even though they may not have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories. UL specifies the appropriate materials to be used in chimney liners under different conditions of use. For example, type 304 stainless steel is approved for use in wood burning fireplace and woodstove chimney liners, but type 316ti stainless steel is required for venting fuel oil burning appliances since it is more resistant to corrosion caused by sulfuric acid condensation from high sulfur fuel oil.
The NFPA 211 standards specify requirements for design and installation of fuel burning systems. Many local building and fire safety codes have adopted the NFPA 211 standards, but you should check with your local authorities to be sure your system meets local code requirements. The NFPA standards specify details including when chimney liners are required, liner insulation requirements, the proper spacing of fuel burning appliances from surrounding combustible materials, the sizing requirements for venting systems, and proper installation procedures for appliances, chimneys and vents.
Your chimney professional should be familiar with chimney liner industry standards and can recommend the proper materials and installation procedures for your situation. Be sure that any proposal you receive for installing a chimney liner or other chimney system components includes UL approved products and NFPA 211 standard installation plans.