How To Install an Insert Wood Burning Stove
Installing an insert wood burning stove seems like it should be a fairly simple and straightforward process, but it rarely is. These stoves are installed in the firebox of an existing masonry fireplace and convert the space to an energy efficient source of warmth. The only problem is that the old mason chimneys aren’t energy efficient, so the entire installation must include increasing the performance of the existing structure.
The modification of the existing masonry structure begins with the installation of a register plate. This is responsible for sealing off the chimney so that it only contains the flue section that passes through to the stove. It prevents heat from escaping up the chimney, even with the ½ inch liner in place, and stops debris from entering into your stove. It’s also responsible for holding the liner in place, so it must be strong and made from a material that is not combustible.
What Else Needs To Be Considered?
The installation of the chimney liner is just as important as the register plate. This liner is what helps to make your insert wood burning stove a more energy efficient option because this piping takes the place of the chimney. If you install the liner in upside down, then you’re essentially wasting your money as the connections are not going to fit properly.
Because the insert wood burning stove is going to be generating a lot of heat, the back plate of the masonry usually needs to be reinforced as well. A steel back plate is often the best option to use if the current structure is unable to support the insert’s heat. Stove paint is available to help make the installation fireproof and the paint can come in a wide variety of colors.
You’ll also want to consider a flue blanket wrap kit for the installation as well. Most building codes require ½ inch of insulation around the chimney liner for it to be considered a proper installation. It’s one of the most overlooked aspects of installing an insert wood burning stove because without it, the flue isn’t able to heat up as quickly and more creosote will form. Be careful about what you purchase because the insulation comes in ¼ inch sizes, so you’d have to wrap the liner twice in that instance.
Can an Insert Wood Burning Stove Be DIY Installed?
It is possible for a home owner to install their insert wood burning stove if they have the right skill set and the equipment for the job. Some register plates may need to be custom made, however, and the backing behind the insert wood burning stove may need to be fireproofed in order for the installation to work properly. Dropping a chimney liner through is a pretty simple task, but then affixing the cap and sealing off the the installation can be a bit tricky.
If you have any questions about installing your own setup, then it’s time to call a professional. Wood burning stoves can get very hot and without a good installation, your home could be at risk. Take all of these considerations into account as you look at your next project, proceed with care, and contact your local installation specialists if you are unsure of any steps in the process.