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Wood Stove Chimney

A wood stove chimney is essential for proper heating operation and safety.  Many people overlook this piece of a heating system when considering the installation and upkeep.  A stovepipe alone is not enough for proper wood stove usage.

A well designed wood stove chimney will improve the efficiency of your stove by increasing the air flow into the unit and making sure the hot exhaust gases properly exit the heated area.  Proper wood stove venting should pull in air naturally.

Chimneys come in two main types, either insulated metal Class A or a lined masonry chimney. The type of chimney you have will determine how you can set up your wood stove.  

Masonry chimneys tend to be more robust and offer more options for setting up your wood stove.  These tend to be the existing structures already in place with old fireplaces or hearths.  These chimneys can be used for wood stoves if they are lined with approved materials.  If it is an older chimney it may need to be relined or reinsulated to get up to code.  Pre-fab or zero clearance chimneys should not be used with wood stoves.  Consult your maintenance person to check on the type of chimney you have. Be sure to keep an eye on your chimney flashing as well. You may be able to do some maintenance and cleaning yourself using tools such as a chimney brush, but know what your limits are.

Use stovepipe to lead from your wood stove to the chimney.  Stovepipe should be kept 18 inches from walls, furniture and any other materials in order to adhere to fire safety standards.  Pipe heat shields and double wall interior pipe can reduce the distance of clearance needed, but will add a little more expense to your installation.  The stove pipe itself should not go through windows or walls.  The wood stove chimney is the proper conductor for the heat.  Also, cut down on the number of bends in the pipe as this will improve the chimney suction and ultimately, the efficiency of your wood stove.


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