a piece of stainless steel chimney linerIs a stainless chimney liner a good idea? In a variety of situations, the answer to this question is "yes." Chimney liners are an important component of a fireplace system because they go a long way toward preventing dangerous chimney fires. They contain smoke, soot and carbon monoxide that are produced when you use your fireplace or furnace.

Some chimneys have no liner at all, while some have a clay chimney liner. Clay liners can deteriorate over time, which can be dangerous. A deteriorating or absent chimney liner can allow a dangerous gas called carbon monoxide into your home. It also means creosote, an oily byproduct of burning fuel in a stove or fireplace, will build up on the inside of your chimney. A stainless chimney liner is a good idea if you need to install or replace a chimney liner but don't want to choose the expensive option of rebuilding a clay or terra cotta liner.

A stainless chimney liner is a good idea if the inside of your chimney is too large. Some signs of an oversized flue - another word for the inside of your chimney - are smoke spilling into your house during cold weather and, if your chimney is attached to your stove, the stove overfiring when it heats up. Installing a stainless steel chimney liner inside the flue will reduce the size of the area that smoke moves into when your stove or fireplace is used.

Stainless steel chimney liners are made of either flexible or rigid metal. They are usually in the shape of a tube and inserted in your home's existing chimney, essentially creating a new chimney flue. Stainless steel is the most common material used for metal chimney liners, and different steel chimney liners are made of different alloys of steel. Some alloys used to make chimney liners include titanium, which adds some resistance to heat and corrosion. Depending on the type of liner you have installed, a stainless steel chimney liner will probably cost between $20 and $40 per foot.

As you may be able to guess by its name, stainless steel gets its name from the fact that this metal resists corrosion, rusting and staining. It keeps its strength at the high temperatures present inside a chimney. Plus, stainless steel is easy to clean. These characteristics mean a stainless chimney liner is a good idea when you are looking for a new chimney flue liner.