How to Do Duct Work on a Wood Stove


Wood stoves are common as a main heating system for a home and as supplemental heating for individual rooms. No matter the purpose, one of the most important aspects of installing a wood stove is proper ventilation. Wood stove ventilation is achieved via a vent pipe that extends through a wall or the ceiling to the exterior of the home. While connecting the vent is not a challenge, cutting the hole to the exterior takes special cutting tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Safety glasses
  • Drill
  • ½-inch diameter drill bit
  • Drywall saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Nail, optional
  • Hammer, optional
  • Stove thimbles and screws, provided with stove
  • Power drill
  • High temperature caulk
  • 4-inch-diameter rigid duct
  • Tin snips or metal cutting shears
  • Foil duct tape
  • Vent cap
  • Screws
  • Place the wood stove in the final installation location, if it is not already positioned there. Since you must cut the duct work to size, you cannot move the stove after installation without installing new duct work.

  • Examine the stove to locate the round vent pipe, located on the back or on the top of the stove. Stretch a tape measure from the center of the pipe to the location on the wall or ceiling where you will vent the stove. Note the measurement so you can cut the duct later.

  • Slide a stud finder over the wall or the ceiling where you will vent the stove to detect any studs. If studs are present where you would vent the stove, move the wood stove to the left or to the right so that you do not have to cut through the studs.

  • Put on safety glasses, and insert a ½-inch-diameter bit into a drill. Drill through the wall or the ceiling until the bit slides, which indicates you are in the cavity. Center the vent pipe over the hole, and trace around the hole with a pencil. Insert a drywall saw into the hole, and cut around the pencil line to create the hole.

  • If you are venting through a wall, walk to the exterior of the home and cut a hole in the exterior using a reciprocating saw. If you are venting through the roof, go to the attic and insert a nail through the attic ceiling so you can identity the location. Then, climb onto the exterior of the roof and cut through the shingles and plywood with the reciprocating saw.

  • Use a power drill to insert the thimbles, provided with the stove, into the hole openings on the inside and outside of the home. Secure the thimbles using the provided screws, and caulk around the perimeter using a high-temperature caulk.

  • Use tin snips to cut a rigid 4-inch-diameter duct so that it is long enough to extend through the wall or ceiling. Attach one end to the back of the vent opening on the stove, and secure it using foil duct tape. Connect additional straight sections of pipe as needed by snapping the ends together and wrapping them with the foil tape. Secure the end of the duct to the internal thimble using additional foil tape.

  • Install a vent cap on the external wall or roof of your home to prevent animals, rain and debris from falling inside. Secure the cap using screws, and then caulk around the cap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut the rigid duct when needed using tin snips or metal cutting shears.

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