3 Types of Chimney Flues Explained

If you're in the market for chimney flues, you should be aware that there are three primary types of flues from which to make your selection. Lest you become overwhelmed by your options, this article will explore the various types of chimney flues currently available and ensure that you have all the information you'll need to make an informed decision.

Clay Flues

Clay flues are perhaps the most common type of chimney flue currently available. In addition to being very affordable, their clay tiles are quite durable and can last up to 80 years. They are particularly effective when used in conjunction with open fireplace chimneys. However, it should be noted that since clay tiles are ceramic, they will not be able to handle chimney fires and are certain to crack and fall apart in the event that one occurs. The tiles will then need to be repaired or replaced before your chimney will be safe to use again. In addition, clay flues are not recommended for use with gas fireplaces, as they are incapable of containing the combustion byproducts produced by such fires. So while they look nice and are relatively inexpensive, clay flues do have their share of flaws.

Metal Flues

Metal flues are another common type of chimney flue, and they come in two varieties: stainless steel and aluminum. Whereas stainless steel flues can be used in conjunction with oil, wood or gas fireplaces, their aluminum counterparts are only safe for use with certain types of gas fireplaces. Also, be sure to exercise caution when using a metal chimney flue in conjunction with an open fireplace, as they are typically too small to properly vent such fireplaces. In addition, take care to cover metal flues with insulation, as it will enhance performance and increase safety.

Concrete Flues

Concrete chimney flues, also commonly referred to as cast-in-place flues, are another common type of chimney flue. These flues are formed by heat-resistant concrete that is poured into your chimney's interior and creates a pathway through which gases are vented outside. In addition to having a reputation for improving the structure of old chimneys, concrete flues can be used in conjunction with a vast assortment of fireplaces. While concrete flues can be somewhat pricey in comparison to their metal and clay counterparts, most homeowners will find that the resilience and safety they offer is well worth any additional money. Be advised, however, that concrete flues are permanent and, as such, cannot be removed without replacing your entire chimney.

So there you have it. When shopping around for chimney flues, just remember to carefully consider the pros and cons of each type of flue and making your decision will be a piece of cake. May your new chimney flue bring you many years of dependable use!