Properly functioning chimney systems will carry combustion byproducts out of the home.
Therefore, chimney problems put you at risk of having these byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, spill into your home.
Most older gas furnaces and boilers have naturally drafting chimneys. The combustion gases
exit the home through the chimney using only their buoyancy combined with the chimney's height. Naturally drafting chimneys
often have problems exhausting the combustion gases because of chimney blockage, wind or pressures inside the home that overcome
the buoyancy of the gases.
Atmospheric, open-combustion furnaces and boilers,
as well as fan-assisted furnaces and boilers, should be vented into masonry chimneys, metal double-wall chimneys, or another
type of manufactured chimney. Masonry chimneys should have a fireclay, masonry liner or a retrofitted metal flue liner.
Many older chimneys have deteriorated liners or no liners at all and must be relined during
furnace or boiler replacement. A chimney should be relined when any of the following changes are made to the combustion heating
When you replace an older furnace or boiler with
a newer one that has an AFUE of 80% or more. These mid-efficiency appliances have a greater risk of depositing acidic condensation
droplets in chimneys, and the chimneys must be prepared to handle this corrosive threat. The new chimney liner should be sized
to accommodate both the new heating appliance and the combustion water heater by the installer.
When you replace an older furnace or boiler with a new 90+ AFUE appliance or a heat pump. In this
case, the heating appliance will no longer vent into the old chimney, and the combustion water heater will now vent through
an oversized chimney. This oversized chimney can lead to condensation and inadequate draft. The new chimney liner should be
sized for the water heater alone, or the water heater in some cases can be vented directly through the wall.