Where Should A Wood Stove Chimney Go?

Wood StoveMany times you have little choice where to put your wood stove and chimney.  However there are some things you should consider that will make the chimney draw better and provide the most heat to your house.

Many times I see the chimney come out the side of a house and go up the outside.  This should be considered your last option.  The best option is up through the middle of your house.  The chimney can then radiate heat into the house all the way up.  Since the chimney has to be higher than anything else near it that means you cannot just stop soon after going through an outside wall.  If you are going to pay for all that vertical pipe, you might as well have it warming your house rather than the outside.

In my situation any wood burning had to be done in the basement, my wife was not going to allow it in the living room of the house.  My house is a Cape Cod style with a center great room that is open to the peak, about 25′ from floor to center peak.  I put my wood stove in the walk-out basement only about 2′ off the center of the ridge line of the house and 1/3 of the way from the gable end of the house.  This gave me a stainless steel pipe (insulated for fire safety) that was about 30′ high and 6′ of stove-pipe in the basement connecting to the stove.  When that thing gets heated up it has so much draw with the wood stove door open it roars.

While there is a considerable time lag of a more than an hour between when I start a fire and the main living area warms up, I have no problem heating the whole house just with the wood stove in the basement.  I don’t even need to run fans to try to transfer the heat up from the basement.  Some things I think that are working to my favor is that most of the house has hardwood floors which do a better job of transferring heat than carpet and the chimney radiating heat into the main part of the house.  Further my house is built out of Structural Insulated Panels so it is very well insulated and has no drafts.

I feel this turned out very well in my case.  I did my research before hand and am pleased with how well it turned out.  Carefully consider where you install your chimney.  While you can always swap out your wood stove if you don’t like it, you will find it expensive and hard to move your chimney.

Author: Jerry Ward

Working on creating a 10 acre urban homestead in S.E. Michigan. To pay the bills I work as a product manager/business analyst in the IT field. Now the admin of Save Our Skills