Converting a fireplace into a wood stove is an inexpensive way to heat your home while recycling what would otherwise be wasted materials. It can also give you the satisfaction of building something yourself.
The process of converting your fireplace to a wood stove can be fairly easy and inexpensive, giving you all the heat output of an open flame but without the dangers of having an open hearth.
Steps to follow:
The first thing needed is to remove the existing mantel that holds up whatever you typically burn in your fireplace (most likely firewood or logs).
This should take care of most of the construction work; however, if you want it to look like a professional job, other details need to be considered.
Before inserting the new stove flue pipe through the wall, secure floor protection over any furniture by either glueing down carpeting or tacking down some plastic sheeting directly onto hardwood floors.
Mount the hood above where your new woodstove will be, ensuring that it is level. Secure each side of the hood flange with a couple of screws through the flange and into the wall studs.
Attach the metal floor brackets to hold down your new wood stove’s hearthstone, ensuring no gaps between bracket and stone by slightly bending them as needed or shimming underneath if necessary.
After this, slide your new stove into place under the mounting brackets, ensuring that all sides are flush against walls and hearth plate.
Once you’ve picked up all tools and debris from the work area, position brick boards around the bottom of the woodstove snug enough to keep them in place and level with one another but not so tight as to airflow.
Depending on how your wood stove is designed, you may need a hole for ash pan masonry work.
If this is the case, you will need to cut a hole in one of your brick boards, leaving adequate space for pan placement.
Mount stove pipe flue hood. This step may vary depending on what type of wood stove you are using, but with most stoves, you slide into place and attach screws through mounting brackets into wall studs keeping particular attention that all sides are flush against the walls. Once secure, make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper fitment.
Once everything is set up properly, buy some high-temperature silicone caulking and adhere it around the perimeter of the fireplace opening where the hearthstone meets the wall or between the top edge of the hearthstone and underside of wood stove floor-mounted brackets if applicable.
This final detail ensures no heat transfer between the two surfaces, increasing the efficiency of your wood stove.
This is also a good time to caulk any gaps around the outer edges where floor protection meets the wall to help reduce heat loss through these vulnerable areas.
Finally, close up the bottom face of the hood with a decorative facing and apply high-temperature silicone caulking in any other openings in design.
When everything has dried securely, fasten the weatherproof cap onto the top of the woodstove flue pipe using self-locking screws or tapping the metal cap into place with a mallet.
And you’re done!
Why convert a fireplace to a wood stove?
Fireplaces and fireplace inserts, like stoves and other wood-burning appliances that burn fuel to produce heat, do the same thing: they provide a means of heating your home.
And why would you want to convert a fireplace to a stove? There are quite a few reasons for converting your ‘old reliable’ fireplace into an insert style wood stove, and we’re going to look at a few of them.
- A fireplace insert can heat your home more efficiently than a chimney and fireplace setup. They provide the same look and feel, but in many cases, they’ll produce twice as much heat for half of what you’re paying currently.
- An indoor wood stove offers you an easy way to add ambience with beautiful flames dancing away in front of you whenever you like.
- Converting your fireplace to a wood stove can increase the value of your home. If you plan on selling in the next few years, this could be the deciding factor for potential buyers. What’s more, if you’re moving into a senior living facility, many of them require that at least one room be able to produce heat with a wood-burning source.
- For those of you worried about the cost and availability of wood, did you know that there are at least six ways that your fireplace can be converted into a stove? It doesn’t have to be an expensive job; it’s all about doing your homework and knowing where to look.
Converting your fireplace into a wood stove can provide you with all of these benefits and more. Sure, it will take some time, but once you’re finished, it will be well worth the effort.
What is the difference between a fireplace and a wood stove?
There is not much difference between a fireplace and a wood-burning stove on the surface. They both work to produce heat by allowing you to burn fuel (wood, gas or pellets) inside the unit.
The main difference comes down to efficiency; which is better at producing heat? That’s where your choice should be made for what type of unit you’d like to have in your home.
For most homeowners, a fireplace will be the better choice because it uses long-burning wood that produces more heat over a longer time. A stove will use up smaller pieces of wood with shorter burn times and less overall heat produced.
In many cases, you could be looking at a difference of up to half the amount of heat output from the stove. This means you’ll have to burn more wood, spend more time tending to it and need to make sure that there’s plenty on hand at all times.
Your fireplace should be able to function just like a wood stove without venting out dangerous carbon monoxide. There is also the option of purchasing a stove kit/wood stove kit which makes it easy for you – no need to mess around with the bricks.