Installation of a Wood Stove

Now that you’ve decided to install a wood-burning stove and know where the appliance will be located, there are more things to consider when choosing which stove to purchase.

Most importantly, your professional installer should analyze the space that will be heated first. Factors involved are the size of the home, the size of the room the stove will be placed in, how well the home is insulated, how high the ceilings are, and what the expectations are from the homeowner.

The stove or insert should be sized properly in order to provide comfortable heating. The installer should tell the homeowner what they can expect as far as performance goes. It is not possible to go by manufacturer recommendations alone since the layout of the house is the most critical factor involved in sizing the appliance. For instance, if the manual states that the stove will heat X square feet, this would be very different in a closed space verses an open concept living area.

The size of the stove should be at or larger than what is anticipated to be needed. With a larger stove, less wood can always be used but with a smaller appliance the firebox capacity will limit how much fuel can be placed in it at once.

The key is not to overheat or under heat the area. This is something that a professional will be able to determine based on a visit to the home.

An inspection will be required for wood stove installation in order to determine what floor and wall protection will be needed and the length of connector pipe and Class A chimney required. When purchasing a freestanding stove several components are needed: floor protection, wall protection (if closer to the wall location is desired), black single or double-wall connecting pipe, ceiling support kit, and Class A chimney with components.

If planning to install a stove in a new home before construction, be sure to visit your chimney professional first and bring a set of home plans with you. Remember, the best location is in a central part of the home.

Many chimney professionals sell and install wood-burning stoves so be sure to inquire about this before his/her visit to your home. Chimney sweeps are often the best installers of these types of appliances since they know the systems so well.

Tips:

-          Reverse ceiling fans in winter to direct heated air downward.

-          Review your expectations with your chimney professional before making a stove purchase.

-          Purchase the stove from a reputable hearth dealer or chimney sweep.

-          Check local building codes for permit requirements.

-          Read the operation manual thoroughly and learn how to use the stove properly for optimal performance.

-          Plan to have the chimney and connecting pipe swept out at least twice during the burning season to remove flammable creosote and improve performance of the stove.

-          Don’t expect the stove to do more than it was designed for.

-          Add insulation to the attic or walls as needed to retain more heat. 

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