Benjamin Franklin changed the method with which we heat our homes with his invention of the Franklin stove. Wood burning stoves heat up rapidly then radiate the heat into the room much more efficiently than a conventional fireplace.
The stove was the first major improvement of our home heating heat source.
During the energy crisis of the 1970's, wood stoves became quite popular at a time when fire safety codes were still developing. The installation of a wood stove was deceivingly easy and people drew a false sense of security from the stove venting through masonry chimneys. In short, monumental mistakes were made as illustrated above.
Today, each wood stove manufacturer has to clearly label their unit with the proper installation clearances. Insurance companies pay close attention to code compliance and are quick to refuse a claim due to a loss caused by an improper installation.
When a wood stove cools, the smoke will condensate and form layers of creosote, a flammable byproduct of incomplete combustion, creating an unsafe condition that led to many chimney and home fires.
Some older installations consist of no more than a short smoke pipe venting into the smoke chamber of a fireplace, which is now unacceptable by new fire safety standards.
The safest way to vent a wood stove is through an insulated stainless steel liner that will keep the combustion fumes hot all the way into the atmosphere, therefore impeding the formation of creosote.
Another benefit of a good quality stainless steel liner is that in the event of a fire, the liner will contain the heat better than masonry.
This dangerous condition can be avoided with yearly inspections and servicing done by a chimney professional, trained to identify potential problems and experienced in properly relining a chimney up to the latest codes.
Gain peace of mind by knowing exactly how your wood stove is installed and by having a professional check and service the system.
Wood stoves are meant to heat up your home and there's no better way to enjoy its warmth than having the knowledge that your installation is safe and up to code.