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The chimney is the engine that drives a wood heat system

No wood burning stove, fireplace or furnace can function properly without a good chimney.  A good chimney is:
· the correct type for the appliance because there are a lot of options, some unsuitable;
· the correct size for the appliance, which is usually the size of the appliance outlet collar;
· properly located, meaning up through the heated space of the house; and
· properly installed following building code or manufacturer's instructions exactly.
A good chimney and system design produces desirable performance characteristics:
· Fires are easy to light and draft builds quickly
· Smoke does not fill the room when you try to light a fire
· No smoke spillage when you open the door to tend the fire
· No foul odors or cold air from the hearth when it is not in use
When planning a wood burning system, the first thing you need is reliable advice on matching the appliance to the right type and size of chimney.  Most wood heat retailers and chimney sweeps can guide you and there may be government agencies and publications you could get locally.  Also, unless you have done it before, we strongly recommend having your chimney professionally installed by someone whose references you have checked.  You never want to lie awake at night wondering if an incompetent chimney installation is putting your house and family at risk.
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