The job of a chimney is to draft the flue gasses from gas appliances out of the home. A chimney that is improperly sized for the appliances that are using it is unable to do its job. This can potentially lead to condensation of the flue gasses on the interior of the chimney, which can damage the chimney.
These pictures are of a chimney of a home in the Cleveland area taken by one of our technicians. A chimney like this one that has been damaged by flue gas condensation is unsafe in two ways. It is unsafe structurally (obviously), and it can also allow flue gasses to leak into attic or interior spaces of your home through the damaged areas.
Your chimney is out of sight and therefore often out of mind. If you can observe it periodically, it is a good idea. Often a good pair of binoculars can help you. If a contractor is on the roof for any reason, ask him to check the condition of the chimney for you.
If you have replaced your furnace with a higher efficiency model you may now have an improperly sized chimney. The good news is that there is an easy solution to the problem. A metal chimney liner can be inserted inside your existing chimney to properly size it for the appliances using it.
For more information about chimneys and chimney liners, click here to read a previous blog post. If you are concerned that your chimney may need a liner, contact the experts at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling.