What are my options for installing a wood stove in my living room?

sheafromme

New Member
May 29, 2020
7
ME
A few years ago I was interested in putting in a wood stove in my living room that currently has a fireplace. The guy who stopped by my house to quote said that my fireplace has a "zig-zag flue" so the liner couldn't be installed. He seemed sort of disinterested and didn't stay for long so I figured I would run two questions by you all. First, does that make sense as a potential issue? And second, given the pictures attached, what alternatives would you suggest so that I might be able to get a wood stove installed somewhere in my living room. I don't really have any preference as to type of wood stove (freestanding vs. insert) but I had initially figured insert was easiest. I live in the Northeast and could probably scrape up a few thousand for the installation costs. I'd be willing to remove the fireplace if that would help as well, it takes up too much room anyways and is woefully inefficient. I have three separate flues in my chimney, one for a wood stove in the basement, one for the fireplace, and another for my oil burning furnace.
Thank you in advance for any advice,
-Shea

Fireplace ISO.jpeg Fireplace ISO 2.jpeg
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
A few years ago I was interested in putting in a wood stove in my living room that currently has a fireplace. The guy who stopped by my house to quote said that my fireplace has a "zig-zag flue" so the liner couldn't be installed. He seemed sort of disinterested and didn't stay for long so I figured I would run two questions by you all. First, does that make sense as a potential issue? And second, given the pictures attached, what alternatives would you suggest so that I might be able to get a wood stove installed somewhere in my living room. I don't really have any preference as to type of wood stove (freestanding vs. insert) but I had initially figured insert was easiest. I live in the Northeast and could probably scrape up a few thousand for the installation costs. I'd be willing to remove the fireplace if that would help as well, it takes up too much room anyways and is woefully inefficient. I have three separate flues in my chimney, one for a wood stove in the basement, one for the fireplace, and another for my oil burning furnace.
Thank you in advance for any advice,
-Shea

View attachment 260651 View attachment 260652
If the flue is big enough a zigzag isn't a problem. As far as removing the fireplace that probably isn't very simple.
 
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sheafromme

New Member
May 29, 2020
7
ME
If the flue is big enough a zigzag isn't a problem. As far as removing the fireplace that probably isn't very simple.
What exactly do you think he meant by zigzag? And is there any way I could verify that the flue is big enough myself? You're right, I figure it would not be a small task at all to remove, that was a bit hyperbolic on my part haha!
 

Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
350
Eastern Alps, Italy
It will be a big job, but if you’re willing to take the plunge, rip the fireplace and install a free standing wood stove. You will have more heat and less wood consumption. Call a professional to inspect the flues anyway.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
What exactly do you think he meant by zigzag? And is there any way I could verify that the flue is big enough myself? You're right, I figure it would not be a small task at all to remove, that was a bit hyperbolic on my part haha!
You could try looking up from the bottom or going up top to measure the flue. As far as what he meant by zigzag I can't say
 
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sheafromme

New Member
May 29, 2020
7
ME
It will be a big job, but if you’re willing to take the plunge, rip the fireplace and install a free standing wood stove. You will have more heat and less wood consumption. Call a professional to inspect the flues anyway.
I was being a bit hyperbolic but honestly ideally that's what I would like to do, the fireplace is so inefficient and takes up too much room. Do you have any experience with venting directly outside, like those pipe-chimneys that are installed to the outside of the house?
 

sheafromme

New Member
May 29, 2020
7
ME
You could try looking up from the bottom or going up top to measure the flue. As far as what he meant by zigzag I can't say
Sounds good, thank you for the response! Not sure what he meant either, he didn't seem too interested in solving the problem.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
I was being a bit hyperbolic but honestly ideally that's what I would like to do, the fireplace is so inefficient and takes up too much room. Do you have any experience with venting directly outside, like those pipe-chimneys that are installed to the outside of the house?
Prefab chimneys are certainly an option they can go out and up or straight up through the roof
 

sheafromme

New Member
May 29, 2020
7
ME
Prefab chimneys are certainly an option they can go out and up or straight up through the roof
How do you feel about the safety of those? Is it at least comparable in price to getting an insert installed. I have no real experience with installation and my setup in the basement is totally different than what would be upstairs so I appreciate any input.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
How do you feel about the safety of those? Is it at least comparable in price to getting an insert installed. I have no real experience with installation and my setup in the basement is totally different than what would be upstairs so I appreciate any input.
That depends upon if the insert is installed properly or not. With a proper insulated liner in your masonry chimney assuming it is all cleaned properly the safety is the same. If you have some guy drop a bare liner for the insert the prefab is far safer
 

sheafromme

New Member
May 29, 2020
7
ME
That depends upon if the insert is installed properly or not. With a proper insulated liner in your masonry chimney assuming it is all cleaned properly the safety is the same. If you have some guy drop a bare liner for the insert the prefab is far safer
Thank you for your responses! That's definitely encouraging. For some reason I had always viewed prefab chimneys as way more dangerous (no particular reason why, just perception I guess) and had usually discounted them but it seems like a good option to consider now.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
Thank you for your responses! That's definitely encouraging. For some reason I had always viewed prefab chimneys as way more dangerous (no particular reason why, just perception I guess) and had usually discounted them but it seems like a good option to consider now.
As long as they are installed properly they are every bit as safe as a masonry chimney. And considering most masonry chimneys are not built with proper clearances prefabs may be safer