Can I Use My Existing Chimney With a New Wood Stove?
For fast, powerful heat, great looks and energy savings, it’s hard to beat a modern wood stove. With so many sizes, styles, colors and finishes available, it’s easy to find the ideal unit that will match any décor and produce the level of heat required for most sizes of rooms.
One of the concerns that can arise when considering buying a wood stove is how to vent it. Like all home heating appliances that burn wood, wood stoves require a proper ventilation system. There needs to be a secure channel through which smoke and gasses can exit the house. Typically this is accomplished with a stove pipe.
Some wood stove buyers wonder if they can use the chimney connected with their existing fireplace for venting a new wood stove. Let’s explore this idea.
Placing the new stove in front of the fireplace
You’ll notice that the chimney above your fireplace is either perfectly straight up and down or close to it. Smoke travels much better upwards than side to side. If your new stove will sit right in front of your fireplace – or in the firebox as a fireplace insert – then in terms of smoke flow, you shouldn’t have a problem, as long as the vent opening in the stove is close in size to the existing flue.
If this is the route you choose to go, make sure to consult with an expert in wood stoves and wood stove installation before making a purchase. When it’s time to install the unit, hire a professional – don’t attempt to piece it together yourself. The last thing you want is to perform what ends up being a dangerous installation and having to start all over from scratch.
Stove placement away from the fireplace
Much of the time, people prefer to place a wood stove somewhere other than against or close to a wall in order to take advantage of all the unit’s heating ability. If you want your stove several or many feet away from the opening of your current fireplace, you’re likely going to have some issues if you try to vent it through the chimney.
Ideally a stove, wherever it is placed, will be vented by a pipe designed specifically for that stove. The pipe will be generally straight, channeling smoke directly from the stove to the outside air.
A wood-burning fireplace insert is a great choice if the location of the new appliance isn’t an issue. Capable of generating large amounts of heat, a fireplace insert fits directly into an existing fireplace and attaches naturally to the chimney.
So if you want all the benefits of a wood stove as well as many placement options, go with a stand-alone unit and its recommended venting system. If you’re happy generating heat from an existing firebox, a sturdy fireplace insert is probably your best bet.
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, Ga., will make shopping for a new wood stove or fireplace insert easy. We have the brands people want and the expertise to help you make a decision that will bring you and your family satisfaction for years to come. Visit us at 1155 McFarland 400 Drive, or get your questions answered at (770) 691-6707.