Like all heating appliances, a wood stove needs a proper ventilation system for it to function correctly.
With wood stoves, people often tend to use stovepipes to achieve ventilation, but let’s get creative and explore the idea of being able to vent your wood stove through the pre-existing chimney in their fireplace at home.
Can you a vent as wood stove into a chimney? Yes, you absolutely can, provided that you keep certain considerations in mind, such as the size of the fireplace being proportionate to the size of the woodstove, the distance between the fireplace and wood stove, etc.
Let us explore this idea in more detail and provide you an in-depth article regarding how you can make the most out of your pre-existing fireplace to vent your wood stove.
Do Wood Stoves Need a Chimney?
In short, no. Venting your wood stove into an existing chimney is easy and often more convenient, but if that’s not a viable option, you can always go for a twin wall flue system to vent your wood stove effectively.
A twin wall flue system perfumes the same function as a chimney. It is a series of stainless steel pipes thickly insulated and carries fumes from the wood stove outside. It can either be installed externally or internally, which you can read more about in detail here.
How Much Does It Cost to Vent a Wood Stove into a Chimney?
On average, a wood stove installation can cost around $260 to $800 for the labor, and in case you want a ventilation system installed too, it can cost you $300 to $3500. You can learn more about the comparative prices with regards to this here.
Can You Install a Wood Stove Without a Chimney?
It’s convenient to have a chimney at your home already, but you don’t necessarily need one to install your wood stove. Instead, a twin wall flue system can be installed, which comes in both rear and top outlets – you can choose any depending on the aesthetic you want to go for.
Apart from a twin wall flue system, a non-combustible hearth is required over which the stove can be placed. The hearth is usually made of stone or toughened glass, ensuring safety by protecting flammable objects from the stove’s heat.
In the case of a chimney, the distance between the stove and fireplace does not matter. However, in a freestanding wood stove, it is always a safe practice to keep it away from all flammable objects in the surroundings to reduce fire risk.
What Kind Of Chimney Do You Need For a Wood Stove?
You can vent a wood stove into a chimney, but that doesn’t mean you can use just any chimney for the purpose. Use a class 1 chimney instead of class 2 one – the latter is unsuitable for stoves.
Apart from the right chimney type, it would help to make sure that the sizes of the woodstove and the flue are similar. If there’s too much difference in the sizes, you may increase the risk of fire accidents. Look out for cracks in the flue as well, as they can be dangerous too.
Once you’ve figured out the right chimney type and flue size, you can consider the distance between the stove and the objects in the surrounding. There’s no legal regulation on the right distance you must keep, but your stove will underperform if there’s a lack of ventilation.
Two Ways of Positioning Your Wood Stove With Respect to the Chimney
You have two options when it comes to the ideal distance between the wood stove and the chimney:
Placing the stove right in front of the fireplace:
You can place the wood stove in front of the fireplace, which is a good, straightforward option, especially if the chimney of your fireplace has a straight, upwards-facing position instead of a bent one.
Smoke travels better through a straight outlet so placing your stove in front of the fireplace ensures a safe and efficient ventilation system. You need to make sure, though, that the flue size matches the size of the wood stoves.
Positioning the wood stove away from the fireplace
In case you prefer placing your wood stove at a distance from the fireplace, you might as well buy a stand-alone wood stove that has a stovepipe or the venting system recommended by the manufacturer.
You can still link the wood stove to your pre-existing fireplace though through the use of a fireplace insert. A fireplace insert connects the fireplace and the wood stove and can be easily attached to the chimney.
Can You Vent Your Wood Stove to Your Fireplace Yourself?
While you certainly can, it is best recommended that you consult a professional for this job, as the last thing you want is to increase the risk of fire hazards in case you end up improperly venting the woodstove.
A professional will be able to identify if your chimney is compatible with the wood stove in terms of material quality and dimensions and ensure no cracks or flaws in the flue, which might cause safety hazards if left unchecked.
Considering Space While Installing a Wood Stove to the Chimney
The chimney is usually made of non-combustible materials such as masonry or bricks, which means the space of the woodstove relative to other objects in the room doesn’t matter and wouldn’t cause fire hazards even if the room is a bit congested.
However, it is still a good practice to keep sufficient distance between the objects and the stove since the heat will be evenly circulated within the room. You don’t want the stove to only heat the walls.
What If My Fireplace Is Too Small In Size?
If the fireplace is too small in size, it’s unsuitable for connecting a wood stove with it, but you don’t have to worry about that since the fireplace can be recessed and increased in size with the help of a professional.
How to Install Chimney For a Wood Stove?
General steps for chimney installation are given below:
- The center point of the chimney pipe needs to be located, which, once found, can be cut open through the use of a Sawzall.
- After cutting through the ceiling, the area where the roof is to be penetrated needs to be located.
- After cutting through a hole in the roof using a Sawzall, an adjustable roof flashing should be attached through silicone for the joinery.
- You can connect a universal pipe adapter to the male end of the chimney pipe to install the stove pipe.
- A storm collar and chimney cap should be adhered to the chimney pipe using silicone for the joinery.
- The female end of the stove pipe needs to be linked with the universal adapter while ensuring the stove pipe is in a straight and upright position.
- A trim collar needs to be secured around the ceiling support box with the help of screws.
For an in-depth visual tutorial on installing your chimney, you can visit this article.
Can a Wood Stove Chimney Bend?
Ideally, the chimney should be as straight and upright as possible because bends can impede the flow of fumes through the chimney to the outside of the house, eliminating its very purpose. Therefore, the chimney should be positioned at a perpendicular level to the ground.
The chimney can be angled only if necessary, but it is best advised not to make the angle of the bends too drastic.
Can You Direct Vent a Wood Stove?
Yes, you can. The good part is that direct vents are one of the safest ways to heat your home while also improving efficiency.
Can You Have 2 Wood Stoves On a Chimney?
This depends on local codes. It is prohibited to have multiple burners vented to the same chimney in some areas, so look up your local codes.
Even if permitted, it’s not the safest option and can increase the risk of fire hazards. If you have connected multiple stoves to one chimney, consider using just one at a time for the sake of safety.
Are Wood Stoves Better Than Fireplaces?
Wood stoves are not only modern but have also proven to be three times more efficient than fireplaces. However, some people may still prefer a traditional fireplace to go with the vintage aesthetic.
When it comes to heating appliances, safety should be the user’s top priority, and one of the ways you can ensure safety is by ventilating the space effectively. Small wood stoves can be easily vented into the chimney of a pre-existing fireplace, which, if done correctly and professionally, is not just cost-effective but also efficient and guarantees the safety of the user and the environment.