How to Install a Chimney Cap

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

One important thing to remember when it comes to installing a chimney cap on your own is to remember to wear protective gloves! Often times,

single flue chimney cap
This can be placed over a single flue chimney or two can be placed over a chimney with two flues if they are spaced far enough apart.

stainless steel or other metal chimney caps have extremely sharp edges. Similarly, if the chimney cap you have purchased has instructions from the manufacturer, those should be followed instead of any other procedure. If you are going at it alone, you’ll have to first take measurements for it. An important measurement that people always forget about, whether they are measuring to install a single flue or multi flue cap is the height of the tile that sticks out of the chimney. If it is very tall you may need to make special arrangements ot have a height extender installed.

If you have only one flue in your chimney then you will simply measure the dimensions of the flue at the top of the chimney. If you have more than one flue in your chimney you will need to decide whether to have two single flue caps or one multi flue cap. Two single flue caps are appropriate for when the two flues are located far enough apart that two single flue caps will fit side by side without having to be bent. If your flues are located to close together then a multiflue cap, which screws into the crown itself and covers the area over and surrounding the two flues would be more appropriate.

After taking measurements and ordering your cap, you will need to install it properly in order to prevent having to keep reinstalling a cap that has blown off in the wind or having to buy a new cap if it blows off and gets damaged. For a single flue cap all you will need to do is place it over the flue and screw the screws in to tighten it on. I always recommend applying a thin ring of silicone for the cap to sit on. This will prevent it from blowing off in strong winds. If you are installing a multi-flue cap you will need to screw it directly into the crown. I recommend using a thin ring of silicone again to ensure that the cap does not come flying off. Multi-flue caps are usually custom made and can get expensive, especially for very large sizes. You don’t want to have to purchase two of them if one falls off and is bent beyond repair.

Band around caps are a less utilized option for multi-flue caps. Instead of screwing this cap into the crown, they actually “band around the top of the chimney.” Measure the outside dimensions of the top row of all four sides of the first row of brick . Make sure these are exact! This cap will actually fit around these brick snugly and you attach them with screws.

One final note, I do not recommend using black painted galvanized steel or aluminum covers where oil or coal is being burned or wood/pellets are the primary source of heat.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney Liner vs Chimney Pipe

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

When it comes to the inside of your chimney, things can get a little confusing. Terms that seem to mean the same thing or that look very similar have caused people to ask me many questions over my years in the chimney business. The term “chimney liner” is extremely vague. Loosely defined, a chimney liner is anything that is used to vent exhause from an appliance or fireplace through a chimney. A chimney liner can be clay tiles, stainless steel pipe (for wood burning appliances) or aluminum pipe (for gas or oil).

Clay pipes have no warranty and they are usually extruded in a factory using ceramic materials. Clay flue liners are meant to hold the product of combustion (fire) but not fire itself. Fire in the actual clay flue system will cause cracks to occur, and they are intended for use in residential chimneys that burn less than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. This particular type of flue liner is uniquely orange but baking can turn it more brown. In Europe, most liners whether they are clay or metal are round. Here in the United States we use modular construction which is square in size because square clay flue liners are easier to store, manufacture, and ship. Round flue pipes vent a lot better than square flue pipes because the products of combustion rifle or spiral up the round pipe. Often, a square edge clay chimney liner is not even fully used because the gases will still spiral up the pipe as much as they possibly can.

This type of chimney liner is used when clay tiles fail. Generally used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces
This type of chimney liner is used when clay tiles fail. Generally used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces

Stainless steel chimney liners are primarily used as a relying system for damaged clay flue tiles. Generally they are used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces. In an open fireplace (no wood stove or insert) NFPA 11 states that the exhausting flue system must not be any less than 10% of the opening of the mouth of the fireplace. Keep this in mind when you are converting from a clay flue liner and installing a stainless steel chimney liner. You must be sure not to reduce the square surface inches when you are replacing a clay chimney liner with a stainless steel chimney pipe.

A wood stove pipe is generally black and comes out of the top of a wood stove and goes into the wall. It is necessary for the wood stove pipe to be the same size as the collar of the appliance. You cannot downsize the pipe. Black pipe like this can be either single or double walled. Any single wall pipe needs 18″ of clearance from combustibles no matter what type of appliance or fireplace it is venting. A double wall chimney pipe can reduce clearance necessities by about 66%. It is IMPERATIVE to follow manufacturers instructions however because not all double wall chimney pipes are qualified for this. Double wall pipes are sometimes known as “factory built chimney systems.” Sometimes pipes that pass through a wall, such as a wood stove pipe that passes from the top of the stove through the wall, require an insulated wall thimble or a pass through. These fit around the pipe at the site where the pipe passes through the wall and dissipates heat so as to not catch the wall on fire.

Finally, there are chimney pipes that are called Class A chimney pipes. They are installed on the outside of a home. In most cases, these chimney pipes are spaced about 2″ from combustibles. Class A chimney pipes must meet the code requirement of being two feet higher than anything within a ten foot radius. This helps ensure proper draw. All chimney pipe and chimney liners must be installed according to the manufacturers listing standards which may require braces, spacers, particular clearances, and caps.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Creosote Removal Products Guide

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Creosote is a major issue for any household or commercial wood burning fireplace. Creosote seeps into mortar joints and small cracks in the flue system as it turns from a gas to a liquid to a solid and corrodes away the inside of your flue. During very humid times of the year, creosote in the chimney can start to stink up a home as well. This being said, it is recommended to have the chimney swept when there is 1/8″ of creosote buildup. To prevent corrosion of your flue system and odor problems from occurring, you will want your chimney sweep to be able to remove as much creosote as possible and as completely as possible. By utilizing creosote removal products a month or so prior to calling out your chimney sweep you will increase the effectiveness of the sweep.

With so many creosote removal products on the market, it may be difficult to pick just one. With similar pricing and technical specifications, one way to decide what type of creosote removal product to purchase would be to research application methods and choose one that you feel comfortable with. There are powdered creosote modifiers and liquids, removers that you apply up in the flue system itself and removers that you apply directly to logs in the fireplace. You need to make sure that the type of creosote removal product you purchase is intended for use in the type of fireplace that you have, whether it be a wood burning fireplace or a fireplace using gas logs, and that you are comfortable applying the product.

If you have a wood burning fireplace, you have many creosote removal products to choose from. A few that I would recommend would be Cre-Away or Anti-Creo-Sote (ACS) by

Cre-Away is a powder creosote removal product. Creosote is corrosive when left untreated in the flue system.
Cre-Away is a powder creosote removal product. Creosote is corrosive when left untreated in the flue system.

ChimneySaver. ChimneySaver has an entire line of products formulated specifically for use on chimneys from heavy duty water repellents intended for use above the roofline where the elements hit the hardest to flexible crown repair products to repair small cracks that often appear over time at the top of the chimney. Cre-Away Creosote Modifier is one of their products that is actually a powder. It is effective on all types of creosote (glazed or loose) and actively reduces the odor that creosote in the chimney produces by neutralizing. This neutralizing aspect reduces the corrosiveness of the creosote while its still resting in the flue and allows your chimney sweep to remove creosote more completely and more easily. You apply this product directly p into the flue system by squeezing and aiming up the chimney. The application of the product directly into the chimney allows for it to modify glazed on creosote, which is normally very difficult to impossible to remove, and chemically alters is to a more sweepable form. Cre-Away Creosote Modifier is sold in 1 lb. bottles and it is recommended to use 1/3 of a bottle on each fire that you burn prior to having your sweep come.

12 or so squirts in the firebox, on the logs, and up in the flue is just enough for a moderate amount of creosote. Use up to 60 for severe cases.
12 or so squirts in the firebox, on the logs, and up in the flue is just enough for a moderate amount of creosote. Use up to 60 for severe cases.
A light mist with the creosote removal product will remove all the build-up from your gas logs
A light mist with the creosote removal product will remove all the build-up from your gas logs

A different product by ChimneySaver is Anti-Creo-Soot, or ACS. This spray bottle is effective on creosote because it is a liquid manganese catalyst, catalyzing the breakdown of creosote. You can use the product on almost anything: boilers, fireplaces, pellet stoves, furnaces, wood or even coal burning stoves. Due to its chemical makeup, it actually insulates appliances, improving heat transfer. The product is safe for use on catalytic combustors so long as it is put into bypass mode before treatment and for an hour afterwards. You can purchase this product in 32 oz. spray bottles or 1 gallon refill containers and should use about twelve sprays on the inside of the firebox, on the wood, and up in the flue in order for it to be effective. For severe creosote build up, up to 60 squirts can be used daily for the first seven days of use. ACS also comes in a powder and is applied directly to the flue instead of the fire. By using ACS Powder after every cleaning you will reduce the acidity and odor of creosote. Similar to Cre-Away Creosote Modifier, use about 1/3 of the bottle with each use.

If you have gas logs in your fireplace I would recommend using the ACS Gas Log Carbon and Soot Remover. It disperses carbon and soot deposits that have accumulated on the gas logs with only a light mist. This product does not damage the logs. You mist the logs when they are burning hot. I wouldn’t recommend using this product on light colored logs due to the fact that the manganese catalyst may cause yellowing to occur.

Creosote removal products such as these aren’t going to make the creosote in your chimney vanish, but it will enable the chimney sweep who comes out to remove the creosote to remove it more completely.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney Flashing Repair- How to Fix Chimney Flashing Leaks

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Here at my chimney repair and sweeping company, we treat every water problem as a process of elimination. Even the most trained chimney veterans may have difficulty pinpointing exactly where damaging water is entering your home. A chimney or roofing professional will often perform a water test

This flashing was installed improperly, with no counterflashing, and will surely leak.
This flashing was installed improperly, with no counterflashing, and will surely leak.

which you can actually perform yourself. Starting at the base of your chimney soak a few feet. Wait fifteen minutes to see if any water enters your home and then soak a portion of the chimney a little bit higher then a little bit higher until you can either pinpoint where water is entering on the chimney or rule out the water entering through the brick of the chimney.

Another very common point of entry for water is the chimney flashing. Chimney flashing seals the void between the roof and the chimney, but often times leaks. Over time, water erodes away the watertight finish that sealed the flashing or the flashing literally rusts away from the roof. Other problems can occur with the flashing that may cause leaks, and fixing it isn’t impossible. You can absolutely save some money by performing the repair by yourself, you just need to be sure that you use quality products.

ChimneySaver FlashSeal Flashing Repair is a great product to use. It is durable and, when used with the

chimney flashing repair
This flashing was repaired with FlashSeal and is now watertight. No water can enter the home.

FlashSeal Reinforcement Fabric it comes with a seven year warranty. To repair your flashing with FlashSeal, you first need to clean the area of any dirt and debris to allow the product to work as efficiently as possible. After the clean area dries, apply a thin base coat of FlashSeal that covers the entire flashing area and extends a few inches above the flashing line. After this dries apply a layer of FlashSeal Reinforcement Fabric over the entire area and finish with a top coat of the FlashSeal product.

You will need at least twelve hours of dry weather in order for this product to heal properly. I also recommend applying a layer of water repellent over your repair and over the entire chimney to further safeguard your repair and protect your home from future water damage.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney Flue Cap Reviews

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney professionals all over the country recommend that any chimney flue be capped.This chimney is properly capped to avoid debris or nesting material from making the chimney a CO hazard.Caps are extremely useful in that they protect the flue system from rain that falls straight down. Chimney CapAlthough this is rare, rain falling with no wind, that water that falls straight down into the flue system will greatly increase creosote production. Chimney caps also prevent birds from nesting in your chimney and racoons from entering as well. They will bring in loads of extremely flammable nesting material which can cause a fire to occur in the actual flue system of your chimney as opposed to in the firebox. Even if you are not burning your fireplace these critters carry disease.

Here are three stainless steel chimney caps. The customer could have elected to use a multi-flue cap in this situation as well.
Here are three stainless steel chimney caps. The customer could have elected to use a multi-flue cap in this situation as well.

You can actually run yourself into a problem if chimney swifts enter your chimney for the season. These are federally protected birds, and if chimney swifts decide to take up residence in your chimney you will have to let them be from early spring til late summer. Chimney companies or other pest removal service can be fined per bird or egg removed from a chimney.

Standard, single flue stainless steel chimney caps are generally to install and relatively cheap. These run generally about$200, assuming your chimney flue system is near average size (approximately 12″x12″). Larger flue caps may need to be special ordered by a company and prices vary greatly.  If you are purchasing a multi-flue cap and having installed by a professional it can cost you up to about $600. These multi flue caps have less of a likelihood of blowing off in wind storms because they are generally more heavy than smaller caps.

This multi-flue stainless steel chimney cap protects both of these flue systems from debris and animals.
This multi-flue stainless steel chimney cap protects both of these flue systems from debris and animals.

Not all caps are the same however, and generally you get what you pay for. Here at my chimney sweeping operation we always recommend stainless steel chimney caps. Whether you need a single flue cap or a multi-flue cap, stainless steel is worth the cost because it will not rust over time and is very resistant to deterioration. It is very difficult for racoons, squirrels, and other critters to chew through the stainless steel mesh that protects the chimney flue from debris and unwanted visitors. I also recommend never installing a cap which has been painted, especially painted black. These caps will rust! The rust will stain the entire top of your chimney, crown and brick alike. This stain is very difficult to remove and you often have to call in a professional to do so.

This top sealing damper will save you money monthly on heating and cooling costs as well as prevent critters from getting in and nesting.
This top sealing damper will save you money monthly on heating and cooling costs as well as prevent critters from getting in and nesting.

With the economy not turning around at the rate that the average consumer would prefer, people are still looking for any and all possible ways to save money and stay on top. People are cutting back in ways like we have never seen; at the grocery, at the gas stations, and summer vacations. What if there was a way to increase your savings on energy each month all year round? If you could pay between $500 and $600 dollars to keep your heated and cooled air from floating up out of the chimney, would you take advantage of the technology? When no fire is lit in the fireplace, there is no reason to have your damper open. With the damper open you are merely allowing the air that you paid to have heated or cooled to rise up and out of the chimney!

Having an old or broken damper in your chimney it is like having a window open all year round. You especially feel the effects of this air exiting the chimney in the winter months because the warm air rises  up and out of the chimney. Here in Cincinnati, my service technicians recommend the installation of a Lock-Top or Lock-Top II damper. As stated previously these generally run between five and six hundred dollars installed but will enable savings year round for as long as you live in the home. For more information on chimney flue caps, check out our other article Chimney Flue Caps 101.

imgres-1You can find a reputable Chimney Sweep in your area by using this link to the National Chimney Sweep Guild locator : http://www.ncsg.org/search.  Also be sure and go online and read their customer reviews from Google, BBB and AngiesList. I’m never impressed with those cheaper “Swab and Rob companies

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney Liner Installation Cost

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
This type of chimney liner is used when clay tiles fail. Generally used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces
This type of chimney liner is used when clay tiles fail. Generally used to vent solid fuel burning appliances and fireplaces

Customers continually are shocked at the cost of relining a chimney. Chimney liner cost can be surprising. There are a variety of factors that play into how much a chimney reline with installation costs, including your area of the country, but on average the cost to have your chimney professionally relined runs anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. Lets explore the option of purchasing a chimney liner kit and installing it yourself.

 

The hardest part about relining your chimney is fitting the chimney liner. You need to properly size the liner in order for the chimney to draft properly. Remember that there will be an extra inch or so around the liner due to the insulation. Chimney liner insulation is extremely important and actually helps to reduce creosote build up by keeping the chimney liner warmer. Chimney liner kits vary in price based on the diameter and length of the liner, but a basic, UL listed 6″ diameter 20′ long chimney liner kit, complete with connector pipe, tee end cap, and top kit can be anywhere from $400 – $600. Chimney liner insulation kits, complete with all of the supplies needed to properly wrap your chimney liner pipe in insulation, can run between $200-300.

images[1]As you can see you are saving yourself major expenses incurred from installation fees, but with that you are taking in some risk as well. Lining your own chimney can be very dangerous. You need to be absolutely sure you have enough manpower to handle this large, sometimes heavy liner or else accidents can happen

Wood Stove Installation carbon Neutral

https://youtu.be/F055jMMxlYQ

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Fireplace Dampers

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
This damper seals at the top of the chimney to prevent air from escaping the home when the fireplace is not in use.
This damper seals at the top of the chimney to prevent air from escaping the home when the fireplace is not in use.

What is a damper? Customers often call in saying that their “flue” is broken or needs to be repaired because it won’t work properly. The flue is actually what lines the chimney, whether that be clay tiles or a stainless steel liner. The damper, however, opens and closes manually to either keep the warm air of the house in when the fireplace is not in use or allow the smoke produced by the fire to exit. This being said, if the damper stops opening and closing properly, you experience problems.

Dampers are the cast iron plates that are attached to hinges at the top of the chimney. While lighting the fire, open the damper, then close it once the fire has gone out. Dampers can be traditional or top sealing and are usually operated by a lever or chain inside the home. Be sure that your damper fits well because any gaps between the damper and the walls of the flue system cause warm air to float up and out of the home, increasing energy costs.

Manual dampers are opened and closed by a handle outside of the flue system. Automatic dampers, conversely are controlled by a thermostat and operated by motors. Although automatic dampers are not necessary, can be expensive, and are not widely popular, it is very likely that they will become more widespread as time goes on seeing that society makes a constant push toward the automatic, hands-off type goods.

Zone dampers are very interesting, they control the flow of air in an HVAC cooling or heating system. By using a zone damper, efficiency and comfort can be improved. Heat can be directed to a particular floor or area of the house. Heating homes this way is the most efficient- heating just the rooms you are in allows you to save heat and energy while still enjoying the comforts of a warm home.

Realize that the damper and the actual building of a fire will function differently based on what conditions exist both outside and inside the home. Having certain windows open while you start a fire or having the damper at a particular angle will cause different results. Weather conditions also affect fires, seeing that barometric pressure is affected by the weather which ultimately affects the general “draw” of your flue system.

It is always prudent to have both a chimney cap and a damper installed in your chimney. A top-sealing damper, such as a Lock-Top system, essentially “plugs” the hole created by your chimney. Expensive air simply rises up the chimney and out of the home without one. A damper works in much the same way. Remember to always start fires with the damper open.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Stainless Steel Chimney Liners vs. Aluminum Chimney Liner

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb
Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Kit
Stainless steel chimney liner kits are required for any wood burning or wood pellet burning stove or appliance.

When it comes to relining your chimney, all of the options can be overwhelming. There are so many choices out there, from the type of metal flue liner you choose to the thickness and rigidity of the pipe. It is difficult to decide exactly what option is best for you. On the market today are kits, stainless steel chimney liner kits and aluminum chimney liner kits designed to make the process a little bit easier, but even these can be difficult to understand. These kits most often come with all of the pieces needed to properly line a chimney including insulation and a chimney cap.

There are two main types of metal pipe you can line your chimney with, aluminum and stainless steel. There are many alloys of stainless steel, but we will get into that later. When lining wood burning stoves or wood burning fireplaces, you must use stainless steel. Almost all stainless steel liners that have been UL listed require insulation in the form of a blanket or poured insulation material, and it is recommended that aluminum liners be insulated as well. Aluminum is not appropriate for wood burning appliances or fireplaces because of the temperatures that the fires reach when burning wood.

Chimney Flue Liner Insulation Kit
Metal chimney liner’s efficiencies are improved when insulated.

316 stainless steel pipe is a Ti-alloy of stainless steel that can be used to vent wood, pellet, coal, oil, and noncondensing gas burning appliances or fireplaces. This alloy is easy to handle and installs more quickly than regular stainless steel pipe. It is also known for its corrosion resistance in acidic environments and its ability to resist high heat corrosion.

Aluminum is the ideal gas chimney liner. It has been the material of choice for venting gas fired appliances for more than half a century. You want to make sure to purchase a liner that is UL listed. This means it has been put up to standard tests and passed. Many liners come with a lifetime warranty when installed by a professional when installed according to the manufacturers instructions.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Firebacks Increase Fireplace Efficiency with Style

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

When it comes to burning a fire, there are many steps you can take to make it burn as efficiently as possible to get the most heat for your dollar. Burning the right wood and having a chimney constructed such that it draws properly are two ways to ensure efficiency. One step you can take that requires very little whatsoever to increase efficiency is to install a fireback. Firebacks help heat radiate out of the firebox and into the home. Firebacks are sheets of metal that are sized to fit your firebox. Some are very plain and others ornate and beautiful. When it comes to sizing your fireback, you can leave anywhere from 4″ to 15″ of space on the left and the right of the firebox.

Stainless steel firebacks improve fireplace efficiency by radiating and reflecting heat into the room.
Stainless steel firebacks improve fireplace efficiency by radiating and reflecting heat into the room.

Firebacks are made of different materials. The most traditional fireback material is the cast iron fireback. Cast iron firebacks are often decorated with designs for a stylish touch to a functional piece. Firebacks like these will maximize your fireplace’s heat output. These are generally heavy and black. The metal is heated by the fire which, in turn, radiates heat out into the room. These heavy firebacks are difficult to manage and very expensive to purchase online due to shipping costs incurred by weight.

While cast iron firebacks merely radiate heat once they are heated, stainless steel firebacks radiate and reflect heat into the room. Firebacks made from stainless steel are installed in much the same way, right on the back wall of the firebox. They are curved ever so slightly to maximize heat and light reflection into

This fireback adds beauty and style to any room while still radiating heat into the room, improving the fireplace's efficiency.
This fireback adds beauty and style to any room while still radiating heat into the room, improving the fireplace's efficiency.

the room. Between stainless steel firebacks and cast iron firebacks, stainless steel firebacks are much less expensive and far less heavy.

Ceramic firebacks and concrete firebacks do not have the ability to reflect heat and light like stainless steel firebacks do, and they do not radiate heat as well as cast iron firebacks, but they are an option. These firebacks are an option however, as are stone firebacks and clay firebacks. Firebacks, no matter what material, are the best way to protect at least one wall of your firebox from damage due to the heat. Although the firebrick in your chimney are, if it was built in recent years, quite advanced, they are still susceptible to damage.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

Chimney Draft Problems

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb

When a chimney is having drafting problems there are many issues that can arise. Similarly, there are many reasons that a drafting problem may occur. A chimney that is improperly sized can cause a drafting problem to occur. Also, a chimney that is too close to nearby trees or other tall buildings can also develop a drafting problem. When a chimney does not draft properly, you can have multiple problems including smoking issues, creosote build up, and a cold draft in the winter.

By altering the ratio between flue and firebox size draft problems can be eliminated.
Chimney draft problems can be a real pain but there are chimney draft stoppers available to solve such issues.

When a chimney flue is too small for a firebox, smoke cannot draft up through the chimney. Round flues should have a 12:1 ratio to the firebox. Chimney systems that do not comply with this ratio will, generally speaking, have draw problems. One chimney draft stopper in this situation is a Smoke Guard. A Smoke Guard will actually reduce the size of the firebox to help it draft better. A properly sized firebox will draft properly. A Smoke Guard will also prevent a cold draft from coming down the chimney in the winter.

Another chimney draft inducer is improper chimney height. The chimney needs to be the highest point for about ten feet around in order for it to draw properly. Poor draft is absolutely of an issue because, first and foremost, it decreases your fireplace’s efficiency. A fire burns the warmest when there is a steady flow of oxygen. When a chimney doesn’t have enough air inside the home to continually supply it, it has to start to draw air from the outside, that is, down through the chimney. This is known as negative pressure inside your home, and this is the reason that many people experience smoking problems when you burn a fire. This negative pressure issue plays into chimney height issues and surrounding trees. If the chimney is too short then it is less difficult for a fire to start drawing air from down the flue system, and nearby trees can actually help force air down the chimney. One of the best ways to help turn your negative pressure to positive pressure is to crack a window near the fire when you are burning one. This will give the fire a fresh air source to draw from correcting the downdraft.

Poor chimney draft is a real pain and it can actually contribute to creosote build up in your flue system. Creosote, before it turns into a sticky or even glazed substance in your flue system is a gas, a product of combustion from the fire burning. When the flue system stays warm the products of combustion can float safely out of your chimney, however, if there is cold air being sucked into the chimney due to a draft, more creosote will solidify and stick in the flue system than will float away.

All of these problems presented by a drafty chimney can generally be corrected. Installing a stainless steel liner will reduce the size of a flue system that is too large. This is a means of fixing an improperly sized flue system, opposite to using a Smoke Guard to reduce the size of a firebox that is too large. There are special, top sealing chimney caps that will

Seal of the top of the chimney and eliminate your poor chimney draft problem. By sealing the top of the flue system you prevent cold outside air from entering the home through the chimney.
Seal of the top of the chimney and eliminate your poor chimney draft problem. By sealing the top of the flue system you prevent cold outside air from entering the home through the chimney.

eliminate draft when the chimney is not in use. These chimney caps have a damper system that will completely seal off the top of the chimney when closed in order to prevent cold air from coming down the chimney and into the home. Finally, if your chimney height was not correct, say it was constructed too short, adding a few feet of height onto the chimney will help it to draw properly. This is one of the more extreme draft fixes, however.

All of these chimney draft stoppers combat chimney draft inducers in different ways. You may want to call a chimney professional to diagnose exactly why your chimney is experiencing a drafting problem or any of the problems that come with a drafting problem. After diagnosis, repair is usually straightforward.

Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.

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Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

AsktheChimneySweep.com….Educational Videos
FireplaceandChimneySupply.com….Chimney products
AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
Clay Lamb