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Lining And Insulating Your Chimney - Update
The efficiency of a wood burning stove means that approximately 80% of the heat is transmitted
into your room. Compare this to an open fire, which allows 80% of the heat to dissipate up the chimney, and you
will immediately see the distinct advantage of wood burning stoves.
It is worth noting, however, that the consequence of less heat dissipating up the chimney is
that the stonework in the chimney will be unlikely ever to reach an operating temperature. The effect of this can
be that the stove will not draw properly and that the smoke generated may condense in the chimney giving rise to
soot and tar deposits. These can be particularly dangerous if allowed to accumulate over time and, for this reason,
it is very important that you have your chimney swept regularly. Having said that, tar deposits will not be removed
by the brush of a chimney sweep and may cause chimney fires. In addition, significant tar deposits may leak out
through the bottom of the chimney and, possibly, back into your wood burning stove. Tar deposits can also degrade
over time the mortar in the brickwork of your chimney. Lining your chimney will create a smooth internal surface
thereby reducing the opportunity for tar deposits to form.
It is for these reasons that lining your chimney is highly recommended but do please note that
any alterations and/or work undertaken on an existing chimney is now covered by building control. There is a link
to the Building Regulations on the left-hand side of this page.
The most often used to type of chimney liner is the flexible steel liner, although pumice
chimney liners are also popular and provide a permanent masonry insulated chimney. It is not the purpose of this
article to give detailed advice on the fitting of either type of chimney liner and we would strongly recommend that
this job is done professionally. One very important thing to note always is that there should be no join in the
chimney liner in the chimney itself.
We also recommend that your chimney is insulated. The flexible steel chimney liner is best
insulated with rockwool insulation, whereas the pumice chimney liner will be a more permanent installation and is,
therefore, lined with a mixture of leca chimney insulation and cement. In other words, the gap between the pumice
liner and the chimney itself is backfilled with the insulation/cement mix. With the flexible steel chimney liner,
this gap is filled with rockwool insulation.
Insulating your chimney liner is advisable because it will help to reduce the condensation that
gives rise to soot and tar deposits. A properly insulated chimney will allow for greater temperatures in the flue
gases and this will not only reduce the condensation but it will also improve the draw of the chimney because hot
air does, of course, rise!
We hope you have found this article useful. Certainly, if considering installing a new wood
burning stove for the first time then we would strongly recommend that you check to ensure that the chimney is
lined and insulated. Similarly, if moving into a new property that already has a wood burning stove in place, we
would strongly recommend that you have it checked before use to ensure that the chimney is lined and insulated.
This applies especially in the case of thatched properties.
Please see below for a great selection of chimney liners, chimney insulation and accessories
available for sale right now on eBay but, again, we would reiterate that if you are in any doubt about the
installation of your chimney liner you should seek professional advice. Remember too that the Building Regulations
will apply and any installation will be subject to building control.