Your Furnace or Water Heater May Need Relining – English Sweep Can Help

Generally, when people think about chimneys, the image that comes to mind is a venting structure atop a roof, designed to safely carry combustion fumes from a fireplace out of the home or building. The mental depiction is usually not one related in any way to an HVAC appliance like a furnace or water heater. Yet, did you know that chimneys aren’t just for fireplaces?

You read that right: there are other appliances that produce harmful vapors as a byproduct of combustion and require some sort of chimney system to properly and safely release them out of your home – like your furnace and water heater. And in the same way your fireplace chimney may require relining services or a liner replacement, so too might these other systems.

The good news is that the team here at English Sweep, Inc. doesn’t just tackle fireplace chimney repairs and maintenance – you can count on us for water heater and furnace chimney relining too. All our technicians are not only friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced, but are also certified with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and we’d love to assist you.

Schedule an appointment with us by filling out a request form on our website, or give us a call at 636-225-3340.

What Is an HVAC Liner? Why Would It Need To Be Relined?

Any device or appliance that utilizes air to produce an intended outcome – be it a fireplace chimney, a clothes dryer, a hot water heater, a furnace, etc. – must come equipped with a way to effectively recycle and exhaust that air after it’s been spent.

Enter: the venting system.

Now, when it comes to what we think of as traditional chimneys, the precise mechanics of its venting capabilities are hidden within the large, open cavity of the rest of the structure. But other systems, like HVAC appliances, don’t have the same elaborate setup with a flue liner encased inside something more decorative and visually appealing. They vent their combustion fumes through simple piping.

Thus, it can be a little misleading when it comes to “relining” because – unlike their fireplace chimney counterparts – these appliances require more of a replacement than a restoration of the existing liner.

As far as why it might need to be relined, despite their very obvious visual differences, a liner for an HVAC unit is really no different (in terms of functionality) than any other chimney structure. Which means that for the same reason(s) you might need to look into relining services for your fireplace’s chimney – damage, system inefficiencies or strange behavior, debris buildup, etc. – you need to be aware of your furnace, water heater, or other HVAC appliance’s flue condition too.

Why Do You Need a Chimney Liner for a Water Heater?

Simply put? Because without one, all the used up air containing harsh fumes and dangerous byproducts created naturally from combustion would be released back into the room – as opposed to properly and safely ventilated out of your home.

Regardless of how your water (or air for that matter, as is the case with a furnace) is heated – wood, gas, electricity, etc. – the chemical reaction of creating that tangible heat results in some kind of exhaust expulsion. And if there is not a flue system in the form of a pipe or some kind of alternative to transport these harmful, gaseous byproducts out of your home, they’ll have no choice but to stay in.

That’s why it’s always important to maintain a general awareness of your home appliances – not just in physical presentation, but overall performance, too. If you start to notice things are not working quite the same as they once were, it’s a good idea to get someone out to take a look.

Fortunately, that’s just what the dedicated team at English Sweep is here for: to make sure all the vents and pipes in your home are operating safely and efficiently. If ever you have questions or concerns regarding your fireplace, your water heater, or furnace liner, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our main objective is to ensure that every home in our community is as safe as possible – and thanks to many decades of experience in the industry, we’re qualified to tackle anything we come up against.

To schedule an HVAC chimney relining service or learn more about our other venting products and services, fill out this appointment request form or dial 636-225-3340. We’re here to help, no matter what you need!

What Are Common Problems With Furnace & Water Heater Chimney Liners?

We briefly glazed over this earlier, but since utility flues are made of metal, how exactly do you know when it’s time to schedule a relining service?

  • Inefficient performance. One of the biggest reasons to reline is when you start to notice any kind of system inefficiency, which typically happens when the liner isn’t appropriately sized or installed. You won’t get those high levels of performance you’re hoping for from your water heater or furnace, and your system will have to work a lot harder to produce good results. All of this results in less comfort for you, higher energy bills (since everything is working overtime), and an increased risk of your unit wearing out prematurely.
  • Change in fuel type. If you change your fuel source, you’ll need to be sure to reline your exhaust flues as well. Not all fuels are compatible with certain liner materials, and it can invite any number of issues if this isn’t accounted for as part of the switching process.
  • Existing liner has suffered damage. Regular wear and tear can eventually cause liner deterioration simply due to all of the corrosive byproducts that escape these systems. Especially if the system isn’t cleaned out regularly or professionally maintained, decay and deterioration are bound to occur, and a new liner will be needed in order for the appliance to operate safely and as intended.
  • Appliance has no liner at all. If the liner is missing altogether, it’s definitely time to get one installed. Without a liner in place, you face potential fire hazards, an increased risk of carbon monoxide exposure, and other potential threats.

Not sure if your HVAC chimney is due for a relining? No worries – we’d be happy to come assess and determine your next steps. Get in touch with someone from our team by filling out this appointment request form or by giving us a call at 636-225-3340.

Is a Damaged Utility Flue Dangerous?

Indeed. Just because it doesn’t look the same as your fireplace’s chimney does not mean it’s any less dangerous when the flue is compromised. Remember, the flue (in any chimney) is meant to release the fumes and toxins inherently present in combustion exhaust so that they don’t recirculate and become the air you breathe. If it’s damaged in any way, these byproducts no longer have a safe way out and as such can jeopardize your indoor air quality.

As soon as you notice that your furnace, boiler, or water heater liner is corroded, rusty, or generally deteriorating, it’s crucial that you schedule an appointment with an expert right away. The chance of carbon monoxide poisoning and exposure to other dangerous and often unnoticeable gases is simply too great to risk.

Need a New HVAC Liner? We Can Take Care of It for You

No matter what state your HVAC liner is currently in, English Sweep, Inc. can help. We can expertly install a new aluminum liner that’s perfect for your furnace or water heater flue. And we’ll take every precaution necessary to ensure it’s functioning as it’s supposed to when we’re done.

On top of our CSIA certification, we also hold certifications with the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), as well as memberships with the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and the Midwest Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Associations (MWHPBA).

If you’re looking for a team that’s experienced, knowledgeable, and will solve your problems, we’ve got you covered.

Call 636-225-3340 or reach out online today. We’re here for our customers all throughout St. Louis, Wildwood, Chesterfield, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, and more, and we’d love to be here for you too.


Relining y0ur chimney with HeatShield® is cost-effective and durable. Find out if your chimney is a good candidate for this method when you give us a call.