If you are installing your stove into an existing chimney there are a few things that you need to consider. The first one being whether you are going to line your chimney or not. Lining your chimney has many benefits and we advise all potential customers that they should have their chimney lined.
The reasons we advise this are multiple. Through our experience we have come into contact with many figures in the industry, from sweeps to fitters, manufacturers to sales reps, and we have spoken to them all.
Chimney sweeps – both the chimney sweeps we use in our area cannot recommend lining your chimney any higher, especially if you home is built before 1950. They advise this as WITHOUT a liner you MUST sweep your chimney twice a year for safety reasons. A traditional brick chimney was not designed for the modern, efficient stoves that we see today. The efficiency of the stoves means that there are more tar deposits in the gases and these gas are burnt much hotter causing condensation. This condensation and tar will bond with the brick which can cause chimney fires at the worst and brown staining of the chimney breast at best (after a year or two). The other danger is the lethal carbon monoxide gas that stoves produce. If this leaks into your house it can kill, especially if the chimney breast runs through a bedroom. The sweeps do smoke test chimneys but you cannot get accurate results unless the chimney is tested under pressurised, scientific conditions, and even when this is done (at great expense) you still cannot be sure if it is leaking between floors or ceilings.
Manufacturers – All the manufacturers that we have spoken to have expressed that their appliances run at their optimum when used with a liner. This is because all stoves, when designed and trialled are tested with a liner set up in a laboratory.
What do we say? – Apart from all the above there is a less technical way to look at it. Quite simply, if you line your chimney, you will have a chimney that is guaranteed for 10 years, without a liner there are no guarantees on your chimney and it is your responsibility to put right any problems. Secondly, using a liner means burning more efficiently which means that you use less wood, saving you your hard earned money!