Ventilation Requirements for Wood Burner Stove

Written by rick chaney
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Ventilation Requirements for Wood Burner Stove
When it comes to safety, ventilation requirements have to be met. (stack image by John Sfondilias from

If you are going to install a wood burner stove, you must do so in a correct manner. You need to take all of the ventilation requirements into account, and ensure you install it correctly. If you already have a wood burner stove installed, ensure that the wood burner stove ventilation requirements are met.

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Preliminary Requirements

Before you begin installing your wood stove, you must consult your insurance company. You will need to abide by their rules and guidelines; otherwise it could result in loss of coverage. Many insurance companies will not provide you with coverage if the wood stove is not installed correctly. For this reason, you must hire a professional to assist you.

Safety Requirements

Ensure the fireplace is located within a non-combustible area. It is imperative that the floor and walls around the stove and ventilation pipes are fireproof. If the floor is not incombustible, you are required to create a hearth. This hearth must be 16 inches in front of the stove and 10 inches on both sides.

Stovepipe Requirements

The stovepipe that will be used to ventilate the smoke must follow specific requirements. You must acquire a double-wall steel stovepipe. It is also advisable to get a triple-wall stovepipe. When installing the stovepipe, it must be a minimum of 9 inches away from the fireproof wall. The stovepipe must be in between 2 to 8 inches in diameter; follow the manufacturers required stovepipe diameter. You should never have the stovepipe running horizontally. The stovepipe connecting to the chimney must be less than 10 feet in length.

Flue-Pipe Requirements

You must ensure that the flue-pipe extends 3 feet above the roof of your house. The flue-pipe is the last part of the ventilation system where the smoke is released. Urban locations will require the flue-pipe to be at least 2 feet above any other building roofs in a 10-foot radius.

Connecting Requirements

When connecting the pipes to your stove, you must use a minimum of three screws and the pipes must interlock tightly. There should be little or no air sneaking into the pipes from the house. It is required by the National Fire Protection Association that the air within your home is completely separated from the ventilation air. This is best done with tight sealing and installing a direct-venting system.

Additional Requirements

The wood stove or ventilation system cannot be installed in a bedroom where someone sleeps. The combustion air inlet is used to provide the stove with air from outside, and it must be above snow level. The stove must be 36 feet away from the opposite side of the wall, unless it is protected. If that is the case, you can keep it 12 feet away.

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