Proper chimney installation is likely the most important aspect of owning and operating a wood stove or fireplace. The chimney serves the purpose of providing a draft to the fire, which acts as fuel. A properly installed chimney will suck the smoke out of the fire, keeping occupants of a home safe from smoke and harmful fumes.
There are three methods for a basic chimney installation. With the first method, the stovepipe goes directly up over a wood stove, connects to the chimney, which is extended at least 3 feet (0.91 meters) above the roof. The second method is called the "out and up" method, where the chimney is connected to the back of the wall where the stove pipe is behind the stove, the chimney then continues up the side of a house. With this method the chimney can be covered for concealment. The third method is used for houses where the chimney will be installed through a roof with an angle to it. In this situation, different equipment such as brackets or braces would be needed to secure the chimney to the roof.
The other method for installing a chimney is to have a masonry chimney built. A masonry chimney is made out of bricks or stone, and built around the metal chimney. This type of chimney installation should only be done by a licensed professional. If a masonry chimney is built improperly, it could cause a chimney fire, leading to damage, injury, or even death.
Though the clearances required for a masonry chimney are similar to that of a typical chimney, the masonry building process is very specific and requires attention to detail. Consult the National Fire Protection Agency in the U.S. to learn about the legal codes and regulations regarding a masonry chimney. In the United Kingdom, the local building control department can be contacted for specific regulations regarding installation methods of a chimney.
Some things to keep in mind when considering a chimney installation are that the chimney should be tall, which helps ensure safety and prevent fire. To create chimney suction and a good draft, the stove pipe should have as few bends in it as possible. There should be a cap installed on the chimney. Some locations require caps by law, but it is wise to cap the chimney regardless, in order to keep birds and other small critters out. The cap will also keep moisture out of the chimney.
Like most products, there are high quality and low quality products available to buyers in the market for a chimney. Anyone considering the purchase and installation of a chimney should consider the quality of the product they purchase. Some metal chimneys are designed for use with not only wood stoves but furnaces as well.
Double-insulated chimneys can be installed for both a wood stove or a furnace, though the price will be a bit higher for the extra insulation. Metal chimney is usually sold by the inch, so depending on the length of chimney required, installation prices can vary greatly. Another aspect to consider is that some chimney systems have a warranty or some type of guarantee, as long as the installation is done correctly. Contracting with a certified or licensed professional is a sure way to keep a product guarantee or warranty valid, and to ensure the most effective method for chimney installation is used.