What is a wood burning fireplace? How to install one?

wood burning fireplace

What is a wood-burning fireplace?

If you’ve ever watched someone start a fire in a wood burning fireplace, you know what a fantastic sight it can be. The flames leap and crackle. You may even see smoke or sparks shooting up the chimney. It feels like a natural and primitive way to stay cosy on a cold winter night.

Among the many fireplaces, we have wood-burning fireplaces, which are the most simple and traditional of fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces have been around since before there was electricity and were used long before we knew what power was.

Can you add a wood burning fireplace to an existing house?

Yes. If you already have a fireplace, you can add a wood-burning fireplace inside it. Or, if you do not have a fireplace, you can add one to an outside wall. However, be aware that it isn’t easy to make this work efficiently with modern building codes.

You’ll need to exhaust your home’s current chimney flue and find a way to seal up any leaks, so the new fireplace doesn’t suck up excess heat and smoke away from the house. You’ll also need to install an efficient damper on the chimney flue, so that heat and humid air don’t leak out of the house at night.

How do you install a wood burning fireplace in an existing house?

If you already have a fireplace but want to add a wood-burning fire, you’ll need to make some changes. This means that your chimney will have to be made more efficient, and your damper will have to be installed. It’s not recommended that you add a wood-burning fireplace alongside an existing one. First, consider adding a chimney liner. This thin sheet of material goes inside your existing masonry chimney to provide additional insulation and protect the flue from leaks. The liners are made of fire-resistant materials like asbestos, concrete or clay and come with a 20-year warranty.

Another option is to add soffit vents on the outside of your roof. You can install these vents right over the roofline along each side of your house or on its eaves. They allow heat to be released safely out through the roof while allowing air through these vents to reach the interior part of your house unobstructed by walls.

wood burning firepit

How much does it cost to build a wood burning fireplace in your home?

Building a wood-burning fireplace ranges from $1,900 to $3,300. But, the cost depends on the size of the fireplace, what materials you’re using and how you want it to work.

For example, if you already have a fireplace but don’t have a flue, then you’ll need to add one. You can choose from several styles of chimney liners, depending on the kind of look and feel you want for your new wood-burning fireplace. The most common are clay tiles or metal liners. Metal is more durable and more expensive. Clay tiles can crack or break if exposed to firewood heat and temperature changes as the fire burns.

Can I install a wood burner myself? Diy a wood-burning fireplace?

If you’re good with tools and know how to work with wood, you can install a wood-burning fireplace. If you’re new to installing a wood-burning fireplace or DIY, you can find how-to online. Even if it’s not something that sounds appealing to you, it’s still a great idea to get information about your options by reading reviews from others who’ve tried their way of building one.

Can I fit a wood burner without a chimney?

Yes! It’s okay to have a fireplace that doesn’t have a chimney. You can still add fire and heat to your home by opening your windows and alternating the direction of the opening between east and west with a metal box damper. For more information on installing one, see our blog post on “How to Install a Chimney Damper.”

Can I build my own wood burning stove?

Yes, you can build your own wood-burning stove. There are many options for products and models sold by building companies in many styles such as log style; rustic; log cabin, traditional, modern or even sleek stainless steel.

References

  • Benoit Lévesquea, Sylvain Allairea, Denis Gauvina, Petros Koutrakisb, Suzanne Gingrasa, Marc Rhaindsa, Henri Prud’Hommea, Jean-François Duchesnea, Wood-burning appliances and indoor air quality Science of The Total Environment Volume 281, Issues 1–3, 17 December 2001, Pages 47-62, (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969701008348).

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