On a cold day, wood stoves turn the home into a comfortable environment. Since these stoves burn wood, home occupants stay cozy without having to rely on a central heating system. Whether they are old or new, these stoves lend ambiance to a room. Though they generally operate the same way, there are some differences between older and newer wood stove models.

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Traditionally, these stoves stood alone and were vented through a pipe traveling through the ceiling and the roof into the air. Today, freestanding stoves and stove inserts can be installed in fireplaces and connected to existing flues. These are vented into a masonry chimney or a factory-built metal chimney designed for use with a woodburning appliance. Depending on the position and height of the stove flue collar, the stove may even be connected to an existing chimney.

National standards and codes pertain to stoves installed since 1984. According to the regulations, a connector pipe has to extend from the insert or stove outlet , travel up through the damper in the fireplace and into the initial flue tile within a masonry chimney. From efficiency, cleaning, and inspection perspectives, the installation of a stainless steel liner running from the top of the stove or insert to the top of the chimney is the best solution.

Connector pipe regulations apply even if instructions provided by the manufacturer do not stipulate these. When a properly sized stainless steel liner is installed, the stove owner faces fewer potential problems. A new liner will protect the existing chimney from condensation of acid-based smoke and heat deterioration, extending its lifetime.

The National Fire Protection Association and National Chimney Sweep Guild recommend annual inspections and cleanings of wood stove systems. A Chimney Safety Institute of America certified chimney sweep is trained to identify potential issues and improve the safety and lifetime of the system through comprehensive cleaning.

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