While you can install a wood burning stove without a chimney, you first have to understand what a chimney is to know why you can do without it. A chimney is a structure that is used to vent out the smoke and other hot gasses that form when one burns fuel such as wood. They are usually made of masonry material such as stones or bricks. They have an open space inside called a flue which allows smoke to travel from the hearth to the outside atmosphere.
Chimneys were extensively used in traditional houses as this was the only structure which could be used to effectively vent gas out of the home. With the advent of new materials to be used as vents, chimneys have become less of a necessity for stoves and instead have become aesthetic features for the home.
A chimney isn’t a necessity when using a wood stove, so you don’t have to worry about building one if you haven’t got it in your house already. But you do need a flue or vent pipe which connects to your stove pipe. A flue can be made of different materials, but mostly it is made of a kind of steel with insulation. The flue or vent pretty much functions the same way as a chimney except that you can run it outside your home with very minimal construction.
So while a chimney isn’t a necessity, it is still important to have a conduit for the gas to escape through. This pipe should clear the roof and be of a minimum height to safely get rid of exhaust gases. They may be cleaned in the same way as chimneys to get rid of soot and creosote which can block gas and even cause accidental fires.
Allow the Stove to Vent – the stove will produce smoke so it is necessary to have it vent to the outside to get rid of the smoke. This again does not mean you have to build a chimney. But you do have to run a conduit from the stove and out of your house to get rid of the smoke and gasses that a wood fire produces.
Check proper clearance heights – vents will get rid of the smoke but it still needs to be high enough to cause less pollution. Smoke or gases rise out the vents since these are at a hotter temperature. When the pipe or smoke itself becomes cool, it will start to fall. If the pipe isn’t high enough, the smoke can cause pollution.
Get a Professional – a certified installer will help you choose the right size, height and type of pipe. This will ensure your stove will function properly and keep you and your home safe. Check with the local building inspector as well to know that you are following local regulations.
This information should help you make a better choice in the installation of your stove. You may not need a chimney but you still do need to meet a lot of requirements. This can easily be done however, so don’t worry and enjoy your stove instead.