How to Make Chimney Safe for Burning Wood

  • Chimney
    Photo Credit: AxxLC / Pixabay
  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Andrew is on the line with a question about how to make chimney safe for burning wood. How can we help you today?

    ANDREW: I am adding a wood-burning add-on to my furnace. I live out in the country. I have a two-story Victorian house. I have to have the chimney go out. And I don’t know if it’s better to just hit the external wall from the basement and have it right alongside the house or if to have the chimney from the wood-burning add-on go up through my house, where the old chimney used to be. Obviously, put a new one but have it come out the roofline.

    TOM: Right. So, do you – where this old chimney used to be, that’s not being used anymore? There’s no part of the chimney that will be used after this conversion is done?

    ANDREW: Right. It’s just a shell right now. They brought it down below the roofline when they put a new roof on it, yeah.

    TOM: I see. Yeah, I would keep it inside the house then. It’s unsightly to have it go up the exterior of the house. If you have the opportunity and you just have an empty chimney void, why not run it up through the middle of the chimney and have it come up out through the roof like a typical chimney would? That’s the best way to make chimney safe for burning wood.

    I presume that you’re talking about a B-vent. I’m sorry, not a B-vent but a wood-burning stove metal, prefabricated chimney vent?

    ANDREW: Yeah. It would have a blower on and I’d have it going to my furnace that would just have the fan running on my furnace to blow it to the vents.

    TOM: So this supplements the furnace. What kind of fuel is the furnace using?

    ANDREW: Right now, it’s natural gas.

    TOM: Well, where is that venting?

    ANDREW: Coming out the side of the house with PVC.

    TOM: Oh, so it’s a high-efficiency unit?

    ANDREW: Yeah.

    TOM: OK. Yeah, I think you could go – you can use the old chimney vent – chimney structure – to run that vent up through. That makes sense as the best way to make chimney safe for burning wood.

    ANDREW: OK. OK. And that soot that’s left on there wouldn’t affect the new stuff coming up through it?

    TOM: No, no. You’re going to not run it into the chimney; you’re going to line the chimney with the new vent.


    TOM: Because you don’t want to run it just up in the chimney. It may not be the right size or it may not be lined properly. No, you – I presume you’re going to drop – you’re going to line that chimney and run it up through the middle of it and then out the top for best chimney use for wood burning add on.

    ANDREW: Yeah.

    TOM: And it’s going to be real important that you maintain it, as well.

    ANDREW: OK. Yeah. And I plan on doing – I’d have to cut the roofline and do that. I just didn’t know if it would be more cost-effective to do that or out the side of the house, as well. But it’s probably going to end up being the same amount.

    TOM: Right.

    ANDREW: Alright. Well, thank you.

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