Can you convert a fireplace to a wood-burning stove? Yes.
Fireplaces have long been used in most homes, however, improvements and innovations have led to the development of more efficient wood-burning appliances.
Such appliances include inserts and wood stoves.
How To Convert Fireplace To Wood Stove
We’ll be discussing the latter. Do you have a fireplace you’d want to convert to a wood stove?
This is very possible and is something you can do to enhance efficiency. Open fireplaces are known to have very low-efficiency levels. The level of efficiency for an open fireplace is between 20 to 35 %.
However, the good thing is that these low levels of efficiency can be improved upon significantly.
About Wood Stoves
Wood stoves are closed combustion systems that significantly improve efficiency levels by a lot. As much as 75 to 85% efficiency can be achieved with a wood stove.
This specially designed wood combustion device burns much cleaner and is designed to generate more heat.
At the end of the day, users tend to spend less on fuel and maintenance costs. However, only EPA-certified wood stoves should be considered. These tend to burn a lot more efficiently and cleaner.
What more? You’ll want to look out for combustion quality, as well as energy transfer.
Speaking of combustion quality, you want to know how completely the wood burns. This is important as it limits wastes and enables you to save on energy costs.
In terms of energy transfer, how much of the energy being released during combustion is transferred to the heated space?
Before You Convert Your Fireplace to a Wood Stove
While converting your open fireplace to a wood stove is a great idea, there are certain considerations you need to make before carrying out this project. You’ll first need to figure out how the stove connects to the chimney.
While this is true, wood stoves can be connected independently from the chimney.
Getting the right wood stove size is also crucial. Because you want to increase efficiency, you must get a perfect size that heat’s up your room easily.
You might want to take the dimensions of your room to get the volume of space. This can be used in getting the right wood stove size.
Another thing you need to figure out is whether the existing hearth in the fireplace will be suitable enough for your wood stove. Some may be a perfect fit while others simply won’t.
For such, slight modifications may be necessary. Will the size of the open fireplace fit the desired wood stove size?
This is an important consideration to make. The space should be larger than the wood stove size than to be smaller. When you have a smaller space, a smaller wood stove can be placed there.
However, it might be too small to heat your space efficiently.
It’s important to also know the offset distance of the stove to the fireplace surround. It’s important to have sufficient distance to allow for better airflow.
Tertiary air vents will require such air movement.
The Need for Professional Installation
To have your open fireplace converted to a wood stove, it’s necessary to seek professional help. Chimney technicians are skilled in carrying out such tasks.
You need their expertise because a lot could go wrong with DIY installation. You don’t want to make a mess of the project which will affect the functioning of your wood stove.
Because you’re converting a fireplace, the wood stove pipe will need to be installed into the existing chimney. Stainless steel flue liners will come in handy for this procedure.
These liners serve as a sealed or protected passageway for combustion gases to exit the chimney.
For complex chimneys serving more than one open fireplace, this procedure can be a bit complex but possible. This conversion of a fireplace to a wood stove is much easier for a single chimney serving one fireplace.
Irrespective of the chimney type you have, it shouldn’t be difficult to get the job completed within a short timeframe.
Buying a Wood Stove
When buying a wood stove, it’s important to understand several things.
One of them has to do with the size of the woodstove. Apart from getting one that perfectly sits within your old fireplace, you also want a wood stove that supplies sufficient heat.
The size of the wood stove firebox usually corresponds to the heat output generated. You might want to ask a professional for advice on the stove size to buy.
For conversion purposes, you’ll need a fireplace insert rather than a freestanding stove. Free-standing stoves don’t need to be installed within an existing fireplace.
As the name implies, these are free-standing and won’t be required for this type of conversion.
Efficiency levels are crucial when choosing a wood stove. You might want to be more deliberate in seeking stoves with EPA-listed efficiencies of 70% or above.
Higher efficiencies translate to fewer expenses on wood.
Additional Buying Tips
It’s necessary to look out for wood stoves with catalytic combustors.
Such stoves tend to burn a lot cleaner than those without them. Plus, you benefit from the long lifespan of these stoves as they can serve for a decade or more.
Are you open to buying smart systems?
You might want o leverage the power of technology by finding products with improvements such as remote-controlled fireplaces among other smart features.
There are lots of products like these that enhance utility.
Finding a Qualified Installer
We’ve earlier stated the need for professional conversion of your existing fireplace to a wood stove. However, getting the right technician for the job can be a bit challenging for many.
However, there are basic tips to follow to achieve your objective.
It’s important to find out how long the company has been in business. The company you hire should have some form of history that gives you the confidence you need about their capacity.
Also, consider asking for references from these service providers.
You mustn’t delay calling up the numbers provided. More important is the need to conduct some research about the company.
Read through verified reviews to know what you’re getting into.
Converting a fireplace to a wood stove isn’t a complex procedure as long as it’s being handled by a professional. This action significantly improves your heating efficiencies by a lot!
- Wood Stove Efficiency: Concept, Benefits & Components
- Wood Stove In Fireplace: Features & Installation
- Best Wood-Burning Stoves Brands: Top Suppliers To Buy From
- Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts: Features, Benefits And Best Brands To Buy