When you're thinking about adding a wood burning stove to your home, the most important thing you must do is to be sure you have a masonry chimney. Your chimney serves several purposes. It is there to vent smoke and fumes from your stove and to prevent fires. The stovepipe of the wood burning stove should never be used; again, use a masonry chimney instead. Before you begin to build a wood burning stove in a masonry chimney, be sure to check with local municipal codes for air quality regulations, as some communities do not allow the use of wood burning stoves or are strict on the amount of pollution the stove produces. Generally, the more efficient the stove, the less pollution it will produce.
Step 1 - Check Your Masonry Chimney
There are a few things which you need to check before you begin your installation. You should begin with the flue liner of the chimney. It should be either the same size or slightly bigger than the stovepipe size. The flue liner should be a cast-in-place liner (a poured cement process) or another form of construction which will allow for expansion. If possible, the chimney should be located inside rather than outside the building. If you have a preexisting chimney, of course, you have no option. The chimney should be insulated with masonry insulation or vermiculite. It is not uncommon that an existing masonry chimney will need to be relined with stainless steel pipe.
Step 2 - Extend Stainless Steel Tube
Your first task is to extend a section of stainless steel tubing from your stove or insert through the damper and into the first flue tile.
In the event that your chimney is unlined, or for a more thorough installation, you should line the entire chimney with a stainless steel pipe. You should use pipe which is the same size as your stove's flue collar. Check the specs of the stove or consult with the retailer where you purchased it if you're unsure. It will generally be 6 inches.
Step 3 - Create the Seal
Seal the area below the fireplace damper. You will use a metal pan and seal it tightly with furnace cement or high-temperature silicone.
You can purchase this pan through most fireplace accessory dealers. It is also possible to make your own if you have the time and inclination. It requires using galvanized sheet metal to form the pan.
Step 4 - Add Chimney Cap
It's in your best interest to use a spark arrestor chimney cap on your chimney, although any properly made cap will suffice. Chimney caps are readily available at most home improvement stores and vary in style and cost. Check with your local building regulations to determine what kind of cap is required for your community.