A major issue when putting in a stove is that you might be “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Another way of putting this is: Will you end up burning down the entire house when you simply wanted to heat up a room-or-two. Unless you’re an arsonist-by-trade, there are better installation options.
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Location is at the top of the list. Where it’ll be the most effective and efficient requires you to fit many pieces of the puzzle into place. Of course you want to get all the British Thermal Units you paid for in as much square feet as you have to heat. Everything needs to line-up.
The National Fire Protection Association came up with some scientific suggestions that most local governments have turned into law.
For our purposes, here are the factoids: You shouldn’t put the unit too close to the wall without protection. Heat from the stove will dry the wood beneath the surface. Normally, new wood won’t catch fire right away because it’s treated to combust between 500-to-700 degrees. But drying the wood brings the temps for blast-off down to a fire-friendly 200-or-so degrees.
3.Putting Up a Heat Barrier
Before going any further, install a steel plate that’s at least 28-gauges thick. And put it about an inch from the wall. We’re trying to create a gap where air can pass through. Make sure that the stands where you connect the plates are not combustible, too. If you think brick or stone will do the trick, it won’t. Those materials absorb heat much better than the installed metal that’s not actually part of the wall.
4.Prepare the Floor
The composition of the floor is mostly irrelevant, unless it’s made from bacon or concrete. You want to respect the floor, though. Heat generated from the stove could lay a number on wood, tile or any surface that could warp, peel and crack. You need a metal tray that’s made just for stoves. It should be at least a foot away from every side of the heater. Air flowing under the stove is likewise recommended.
5.Using the Right Pipe
Pipes are made for specific uses. Make sure you use the kind of pipe the manufacturer recommends. Measure the diameter of the exhaust hole coming from the unit. Eight-inches? Then use an 8-inch pipe. The company that built your stove came up with the figure for a reason, so don’t downsize.
Pipe-wise, you want something at least in the 24-gauge range. What’s a gauge? Thickness. The higher the number, the thinner the walls of the pipe. And don’t go pipe-mad. Shortness counts. Only use as much as you need. Don’t get fancy and try to make a pig’s screwy tail design. Also, try to align the exhaust pipe upwards.
6.Using the Right Pipe
Lastly, you want the clearance of the pipe to have its own space. Use mathematics for this one: The clearance needs to be three times the diameter from the wall or ceiling. So, if you are sticking in a 6-inch wide pipe, it should be 18-inches from the surface.
7.Connect It Up
With all that you have done to prepare, we’re ready to install. Follow the manufacturer’s directions in the guide that came with the unit.
Even if it’s the middle of summer, test it with the recommended wood. If there’s a problem, you want to find it before the shiver of winter sets in.
A wood heater not only keeps the family toasty-warm during the cold months, it’s another one of those additions that adds value to your house.