So you just replaced your old furnace for a new high efficient oil furnace. The current oil furnace chimney liner is most likely terra cotta or you may not have a chimney liner at all. But to save more money down the road you need to do preventative maintenance. You new furnace will destroy a masonry chimney.
First of all you may think my chimney has been here longer than I have and it hasn’t had any problems. Exactly, that is the problem, when was the last time you did any maintenance on your chimney? People maintain everything and they understand if you don’t maintain something it deteriorates. But for some reason people don’t think this applies to chimneys. They think it is so old it can stand up to anything. Wrong.
Chimneys with terra cotta flues are designed to handle the gases from a wood or coal fire. They are not designed to withstand the harsh exhaust from an oil furnace. So how do you prevent this problem from happening? Well instead of using a chimney liner that is masonry, such as terra cotta, use a stainless steel chimney liner.
What is recommended for an oil furnace chimney liner?
New oil furnaces are extremely efficient. The oil soot that is put out by the furnace eats away masonry. The terra cotta flues will start to be pitted and flake away. When the flues start to flake away, the carbon monoxide is getting closer and closer to leaking into the home. Eventually the chimney liner will be deteriorated enough where the flues will actually start falling in large pieces.
When the flues start falling over you are almost certain to have a blocked chimney. When an oil furnace chimney is blocked not only does the carbon monoxide enter the home, but you can have an oil puff back. This is when the furnace blows all of the oil soot back into the home and thru the air ducts. This will coat the inside of your home will a black film.
Installing a stainless steel chimney liner for a gas furnace is a job an average handy man can do. This stainless steel chimney liner will prevent the gases from ever making contact with the masonry, thus preventing the flues from ever collapsing and blocking your chimney.