A chimney needs a heat source to make it work effectively. There are several types of heat sources or stoves available. We’ll be focusing on one such; the wood-burning stove in a fireplace.
The information here will largely cover the workings of a wood stove and also state the benefits as well as its disadvantages.
Wood Stoves Vs Wood Fireplaces
One of the things we’ll need to clarify before going further is the similarities and differences between wood stoves and wood fireplaces. This is often erroneously interchanged by a lot of people.
So, let’s proceed by making the necessary clarifications;
Both wood stoves and wood fireplaces are used in burning logs which serve as a combustion fuel. In terms of heat, wood stoves are optimized to serve as efficient heating systems.
As a matter of fact, the efficiency of wood stoves is as high as 85%.
Wood fireplaces on the other hand aren’t as good as wood stoves when it comes to heating. Experience has shown that older wood fireplaces end up with negative heat being produced which in turn results in heat loss.
Safety is a topmost concern for most homeowners when it comes to deciding on the most appropriate heat source to use. Most chimney fires are caused by the ignition of creosote which builds up over time on the insides of chimney walls or flues.
For wood stoves, this problem is significantly reduced as such stoves are frequently inspected and serviced. Wood fireplaces on the other hand don’t get as much engagement as wood stoves. While wood stoves are great, they could become a safety concern in the sense that kids could get burned by the hot exterior.
The same problem applies to a wood fireplace.
The glass doors get heated up and become very hot. This causes burns when touched by kids who are generally curious. However, some level of safety checks can be put in place such as a heat-resistant fireplace screen.
During wood combustion, quite a significant amount of particulate matter is released into the atmosphere. The volume released depends on how effective the combustion is. Now, wood stoves have an edge in this area.
The volume of carbon released into the atmosphere using wood stoves is less compared to those released using wood fireplaces.
Wood stoves are clear favorites when it comes to convenience. These appliances require fewer logs or fuel to burn as compared to wood fireplaces. Plus, wood stoves can easily be placed where you wish.
That is, they can be placed anywhere within your home especially when you need zone heating.
Wood Burning Stove In Fireplace
Having explained the similarities and differences between wood stoves and wood fireplaces, we’ll proceed to focus on the main topic of our discussion; wood stove in the fireplace.
While fireplaces are used as heat sources for chimney systems, further improvements have been made.
As discussed earlier; wood stoves are designed to burn wood more efficiently than fireplaces. Not only will such stoves burn wood efficiently, but they also do so cleanly too. So, a question arises; can wood stoves be installed in an existing fireplace?
It can! As long as there’s sufficient space for such stoves to fit in, you can turn or modify your existing fireplace into a more efficient heating system by adding or installing a wood stove.
However, there must be a proper chimney to vent out the gases generated from this combustive activity.
Considerations When Installing A Wood Stove In a Fireplace
The process of installing a wood stove into an existing fireplace involves a lot of deliberations. Here, different factors are considered to ensure that the process is successful and that it works efficiently.
Factors to consider include the size of the wood stove required, how the wood stove connects to the chimney, the size of your existing fireplace, the offset distance of the wood stove to the area of the fireplace surrounding it, and if the hearth is suitable for the stove.
Size of the Wood Stove Required
Size is very important when choosing a wood stove to be installed within an existing fireplace. Different wood stove sizes have varying heating capacities.
In other words, the size selected should be such that effectively meets the heating needs of a room.
How the Wood Stove Connects to the Chimney
One of the important decisions you’ll have to make is to figure out how the wood stove connects to the chimney.
A chimney installation company will assess the chimney and choose an appropriate wood stove that fits or flushes with the chimney.
The Size of Your Existing Fireplace
What’s the size of your fireplace?
This is important in deciding on what wood stove size to get. It should be such that fits perfectly into your fireplace. Getting one which is bigger or smaller than your fireplace won’t serve the purpose.
The Offset Distance of the Wood Stove to the Surroundings
A wood stove should fit perfectly.
As such, there should be sufficient offset distance between the stove and the fireplace surround. This helps ensure that the stove sits well and functions effectively without issues.
A suitable Hearth for the Stove
The hearth is the area located at the base of your fireplace. This is the surface upon which a fire is built. However, since the fireplace is no longer in use, it should be inspected to ensure it’s suitable for a wood stove to sit on.
What Happens If A Fireplace Is Too Small?
There are situations whereby a fireplace may be considered too small to install a wood stove in such situations; you have the option of recessing and increasing the size to fit your needs.
For a wood stove to perfectly fit into a fireplace, there must be a sufficient gap around the woodstove. This is necessary for several reasons.
First, there’s going to be a lot of heat radiation going on. As such, there’s a need for sufficient space on all sides including the top of the woodstove.
An adequate air supply is also necessary. With enough space, this shouldn’t be a problem at all. Your wood stove functions effectively within the fireplace.
There you go! The information provided has focused on a wood stove in the fireplace and how it works. As seen, careful consideration should be made by considering the factors outlined above.