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What is a Chimney Insert?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Chimney inserts are liners that are placed in an existing chimney. Often, the liners are constructed using some type of heat-resistant metal or tile. A chimney insert is installed as part of a renovation process involving the existing chimney, effectively preparing the fireplace and chimney for outfitting with a gas line and some type of heating device. Along with the liner, it is not unusual for the chimney to also be fitted with a fireplace insert.

The use of a chimney insert is helpful in several ways. First, the device helps to stabilize the masonry that makes up the chimney. This is important when the fireplace and chimney are being adapted to accommodate other uses rather than a simple wood-burning fire. The insert is particularly helpful when the body of the chimney has been altered to create vents that help to route heat to other parts of the home.

Second, the material used for the chimney insert is usually formulated to help retain more heat, rather than allowing it to escape. This results in high temperatures within the chimney itself that help to warm the flow of air as it moves through the chimney and into the new ductwork. As a result, it is possible to obtain more benefit from the heat source placed in the fireplace, reducing heating costs as a result.

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Because the chimney insert helps to protect the original fireplace and chimney, there are fewer chimney repairs to make. Effectively protecting the brick and concrete from the elements, the liner helps to reduce deterioration that can develop over time when the brick is exposed to various types of airborne contaminants. The liner will also help to cut down on the exposure of the concrete to moisture, which can promote mold during summer months in humid climates. Over time, the initial cost of the liner is easily offset by the amount of money saved on repairs. From this perspective, installing a chimney insert is an excellent way to manage home repair expenses more efficiently.

The typical chimney insert works well with a number of different chimney products. The insert is a great preparation to the installation of wood stoves or a simple fireplace insert with glass doors. An insert also works well when a gas line is run into the fireplace and connected to gas logs of a simple space heater. Just about any chimney can benefit from the use of an insert, even when the aim is to continue using the fireplace for a simple fire.

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