A wood burning stove is a very handy appliance to have. It uses cheaper materials like firewood and wood pellets and can also be quite clean when burning. But before you can use one, it is important to take note of the different installation requirements.
These requirements are made to keep the homeowners safe as well as protect the environment. By following these requirements, you can avoid a lot of problems with operations. You can also save a lot of money by doing it right the first time.
Some places may have specific requirements which are different from others. But for an idea of the general requirements, take a look at the sections below.
EPA requirements – While the EPA does not directly regulate installations of fireplaces or wood burning stoves and similar devices in the homes of people, it does certify the appliance itself. If you are purchasing a stove or fireplace insert, then it is important to make sure it is certified by the EPA. A tag or similar markings should come with the unit you are buying.
Certified Installers – The National Fireplace Institute and the Chimney Safety Institute of America both certify professionals for the installation and maintenance of your wood burning appliances. This certification is important as it will ensure proper working order for your appliances as well as protect you from some liability if ever any problems arise from using your stove.
Local requirement – local fire/building codes regarding wood burning appliances can vary from place to place. Local regulations will also dictate the safe distances you can use when installing a wood stove inside a room. Some locales will also encourage homeowners to have days where they will abstain from burning wood to heat their homes. Here is an example of a Colorado town’s wood stove regulations.
Away from Combustible materials – the appliance itself must be at a safe distance from surfaces and should be set on a non-combustible floor as well. There are different types of non combustible surfaces such as concrete and ceramic tiles. Make sure your surface is safe by asking a professional first. Clearances usually range from a foot for non-combustible walls to three feet for combustible materials like wood. Your local building inspector should be able to give you specific details for your location.
Chimney – a chimney is a requirement in order to vent out gasses. Cleaning the chimney is a regular and periodic procedure which should be done to keep the stove burning nice and warm. A chimney should have less parts exposed to outside air to prevent smoke from cooling which causes more soot to cling to the inside of the chimney. A chimney or flue may require additional insulation for it to function well.
Ease of maintenance – while not specifically a requirement, it is important to note that you’ll be hauling wood to the stove and ash out of it. It’s better to keep this in mind when planning the location of your stove. This should keep things easy and clean when you use your wood stove.
Remember to always ask professionals as well as local inspectors first so you can be guided correctly. With a properly installed wood stove, you can enjoy warm nights even if it’s freezing outside.