How to Reclaim Stove Pipe Heat

Written by keith allen
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How to Reclaim Stove Pipe Heat
Adding a stove pipe heat extractor above the stove may improve heat efficiency of the stove. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Stove pipes carry exhaust gases from the stove to the exterior of the home. These gases are also hot and heat the stove pipe. While the heat naturally radiates from the stove pipe into the home, devices exist that improve the efficiency of this process. Adding one of these devices improves the energy yield of the stove system and can make the home more comfortable or reduce energy costs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stove pipe heat extractor
  • Electric fan

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  1. 1

    Allow the fire in the stove to burn out and the entire stove system to cool to the touch. This project can also be undertaken during the summer months when the stove is not in use.

  2. 2

    Remove one segment of the stove pipe. Select a segment directly above the stove below any elbows that change the direction of the stove pipe.

  3. 3

    Install the heat extractor in place of the removed stove pipe. Point the air flow of the heat extractor toward the centre of the room. Plug the heat extractor into a standard wall outlet.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the plates of the extractor clean. These plates serve as the heat exchanger between the gases in the flue and the room air. The cooling process of the air moving across the exchanger plates may cause an accumulation of creosote and other deposits. Clean the plates according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • A similar low-tech solution involves adding a separate electric fan blowing across the stove pipe. This helps distribute the radiated heat of the stove pipe without the installation of any special devices. The fan is manually operated rather than the thermostatically controlled fan usually associated with the heat exchanger.
  • Confirm that your wood stove is compatible with a flue heat extractor. In some cases, the cooling effect the heat extractor has on the flue gases may decrease the efficiency of the stove.

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