Important Guides on Chimney and Ventilation with an Outdoor Wood Burning Stove

An outdoor wood burning stove will provide you with years upon years of good use when it is operated with an efficient chimney and ventilation system. Even when your stove is outdoors, you should still need to ensure that the chimney and ventilation system is well-constructed since you will only be wasting precious heat.

  • The chimney for an outdoor wood stove should be masonry or UL-listed, and factory built. Your outdoor wood stove should also comply with EPA Phase 2 which is all about greening outdoor wood stoves and making them safer to use.
  •  Metal sleeves that are listed by the Underwriters Laboratory may be used as chimney lines. You can find more information about safe metal sleeves and alternative chimney sleeves online.
  • Factory built, metal chimneys are efficient but should never be used together with a coal stove. The coal fire releases corrosive gases that will only deteriorate metal chimneys.  Metal chimneys should be completely disassembled should there b e a chimney fire and checked for damage. You can easily spot if there is breakdown of insulating material when there is the presence of discoloration of the exterior part of the metal chimney. This is already a sign that you need to replace your metal chimney.
  • You should never connect the chimney of a wood burning stove to the vents of an oil burner. Possible unburned vapors that come from the oil burner could back up into the stove and cause terrible fires.

Ventilation is important in any kind of outdoor or indoor stove as 90% of all stove-related fires originate within the venting system. Take note that a venting system is not a chimney; this is a stove pipe with lengths of 24-gauge which connects the stove to an approved chimney.

  • The vent should be no more than 2 right angle elbows. The sections of stovepipe should be assembled using crimped, male ends of the sections. The sections should be fastened with at least 3 sheet-metal screws and seams must overlap and face up.
  • Stovepipe clearance is extremely important. There are important requirements for installing this and you should always refer to your manufacturer’s instructions on how to do it.
  • Stovepipes should never pass through an interior wall, floor, or ceiling and should never be used for a chimney since it will rust. The stovepipe must go directly into a lined masonry or UL-listed, factory-built chimney.
  • Your outdoor wood burning stove should be installed or built away from combustibles and also from places like shops, barns, workshops and garages where there are combustible materials and chemicals. Heat coming from the stove and from its ventilation could be enough to start a fire and it could be very difficult to contain especially when it involves combustible materials.

Installing chimneys and ventilation systems should never be overlooked and therefore consult only a qualified contractor to help you or check your outdoor wood burning stove manufacturer’s instructions for more details.

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