best wood burning stove

How to Install a Wood Burning Stove

As heating costs rise, homeowners are turning to new alternatives to save money. The wood burning stove offers internal heating temperatures of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and surface temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With such high heat outputs, the wood burning stove is the perfect option for those looking to reduce their heating bills.

How to Install a Wood Burning Stove

How to install a wood burning stove
Image Source: Unsplash

Between selecting the best wood burning stove and lighting your first fire, the process of how to install a wood-burning stove can be complicated.

Here are a few steps to help simplify the process: 

Choose a Location

Ideally, the stove will be placed in a central part of your house for it to most efficiently heat your home. Since heat rises, placing the stove on the first floor of the building is a common choice. If the stove serves a more decorative rather than functional purpose, there is more location flexibility. You can even install it in a pre-existing fireplace if you so desire. 

Measure and Ensure Non-Combustible Surroundings

It is important to make sure that your stove is away from all combustible surfaces, otherwise, you put yourself at risk of a house fire. Measure and make sure that the stove stands a minimum of 12 inches from non-combustible walls and at least 36 inches from combustible walls.

Additionally, the stove must also reside on a non-combustible surface. Popular options include brick, stone, tile, as well as concrete. Check with local building codes to double-check that your chosen material complies with them.

Install a Chimney

You will need to install a chimney to release all the smoke from the stove. Regardless of whether you choose to install a masonry or insulated chimney, the chimney will need to extend 2 feet above anything that is within a 10-foot distance parallel to the chimney peak.  Most insulated chimneys can be purchased in a chimney kit. 

When installing the chimney, you will begin by marking where the chimney will enter the ceiling, then drill a pilot hole, straight through the ceiling, drywall, and roof. Be sure to see that the hole does not go through any unexpected barriers. If the hole is clean and unblocked, you will measure and cut a hole in just the ceiling for the chimney to run through. 

Now you will head to the roof and center the flashing over the pilot hole. Cut a hole in the roof, making sure to remove insulation between the hole in the ceiling and the hole in the roof. Remove some of the nails holding down the shingles on the roof and slide the flashing under them, securing it with silicone. Interlock the chimney in the flashing, level it, and then secure the loose end of the flashing with roofing nails. 

Use silicone to attach the storm collar once the flashing is fully secured and add a cap to keep out animals. 

Install Damper and Stovepipes

After the chimney is installed you will need to determine what height you’d like the damper to be at. Then you will drill two holes on either side of the piece of stovepipe to insert the damper flap in the pipe. The handle will be installed through the pipe and the damper flap. 

Next, you will measure the stovepipes. Once cut, the stovepipes should be able to slide over the stove adaptor and fit on the flue.  

Light a Test Fire

Once you have completed setting up your stove, the last step is to light a test fire. Only light a small piece of paper or piece of wood. This fire is intended to see if you successfully installed the stove, so beginning with a large fire is not a wise choice. If you see smoke coming out of parts of pipes or the flame is not drawing towards the chimney, stop and revisit the previous steps. At this point, it is recommended for you to seek professional help since an improper installation raises the risk of a house fire. Keep in mind that this first fire will often be smelly, as the factory coating is still on your stove.  


Image Source: Unsplash

Installing a wood stove is an excellent choice for homeowners looking to cut heating costs. With a little time and effort, as well as careful planning, your home will be warmer than ever and your wallet will thank you too.

Written by Rebecca Turner

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