How to install a wood burner

Hello there, advice needed please!

I have a wood burner temporarily installed in my house, which I am currently renovating. I was originally intending to remove the chimney stack and breast but have decided against this due to complexity and hassle. So I would now like to install my wood burner correctly.

At present a lot of the heat from this 11kw burner must be disappearing up the chimney. There is just a thin galvanised sheet separating the inside from what is effectively an outside space above it. The burner generates a lot of heat but never successfully warms the room in the winter despite good levels of insulation in the ceiling. The sheet of steel can get almost too hot to touch.

So I need to insulate and seal it off somehow, whilst still leaving provision for the flue to be cleaned.

How should I go about it? Thanks in advance!


Hi James, I am a bit of a jonny come lately to this, but I inherited the same issues, heres what I did.

fit angle iron ( with lots of little holes to screw in) around the inside of the fireplace with screws and rawlplugs. Then bolt two pieces of angle iron from back to front across the frame you just made. To each of these two peices, bolt another piece, so that you in effect have a T section( upside down)

You now have three holes , all with a little one inch shelf running round them.

Buy a sheet of insulation with silver foil on the back of it ( next to the woodburners in the qunincallerie or diy shed)

Cut to fit in the two outside holes.

Cut the centre piece with a hole for the flue.

If you do want to add tubes to send hot air to other rooms, then just make more holes in the insulation, one for each tube. You can buy silver sticky tape to seal it all up.

Hope thsi is clear enough

Hi James
On the subject of cleaning access to the flue pipe, when we had a multi-fuel stove in a previous house in N Ireland, we had enough of the pipe exposed in the living room to have one joint fitted with an ‘eye’, which was just an oval shaped cut-out, sealed with the same rope as around the stove door, and refastened with two quite nice bolts. It looks from the photos as if you have a similar length of pipe to us, so it shouldn’t be a problem to slot a section like this in. Unfortunately, we didn’t source this ourselves, so I don’t know where it came from, but they must be available from stove stockists.

Incidentally, we had the choice of either having the ‘eye’ fitted looking into the room, or to have it accessed from the side wall of the house, as we lived in the end-terrace.

I would second what others have said about the quality and seasoning of the wood - the only guarantee you have is to season it yourself so you know what condition it’s in, but it also obviously depends on the type of tree, too. Our stove was fitted with a back boiler, was rated at about 14 kW, so a big one, and ran the 2 bed, 2 storey house heating and hot water system fairly successfully until I had a second baby, at which point we reverted to timeable oil system, keeping the stove to heat the living area.
Hope this helps, and good luck.


Can the entire pipe be cleaned from below with access from this T piece (it’s 8 meters)? I don’t think any of the flue/chimney sweeping companies that I’ve had dealing with would get on the roof. They had vacuum equipment but the approach was from within the house, and they would actually disconnect the flue, which is not ideal, but a junction like this would be much more practical I reckon.


I checked out cleaning long chimney liners like yours and its done the same way as a chimney..from the roof downwards, into the stove, it was on so there might be no need for what I was thinking, which is a stainless steel pipe like this

with a cover on the t-piece like this

the two pieces and postage are 45 euro plus postage from Lille.They are 153mm. But I dont think you need it because the whole liner will need sweeping and it can be done straight down into the firebox anyway.

I love that home made ecofan !

I would love to see some pics Tanya! Have you tried Le bon Coin better than ebay in France


By the way, was the removal of the chimney breast difficult or just messy, does it require removal of the stack too, I guess this depends on the construction of it?


Hi Tanya

I've seen the insulated flue liners in Bricodepot the other day. 104 Euro for one section of 1,20m. I've also heard of a similar installation using the hollow blocks which don't require an insulated liner. Your radiators sound nice, do you have any photos? Will they run off the burner or another heating systems? I've seen the cast iron rads at various reclamation yards in France, love them.



Thanks Jo

Having removed the plate and second unused flue, I've installed 4 layers of 30mm FireRock insulation from Rockwool, effectively sealing off the majority of the heat loss. Now the heat can travel up the chimney a little way where it is trapped and forced through the hole in the wall left by the extraneous flue and into the kitchen. As a result the entire house is warmer and the temperature throughout is more even. I'm also burning less wood.

Thanks for the pointers above, I'm going to delve deeper and see if I can improve it further. I would like to install a fan in the hole to aid the warm air flow to the kitchen. I could just use a simple extractor to do this but that would obviously require power. Perhaps there is a more elegant solution involving a thermoelectric unit, like the Eco Fan or similar, preferably cheaper!

Added some more photos of the Firerock insulation

I found this …"Poor Stove Performance

Sometimes it seems that the stove just isn't working as well as it used to. If there is no obvious problem, such as smoking, catalyst malfunction, etc., but it just doesn't seem to be doing the job it used to, consider these possibilities:

Worn/missing gaskets. Leaky stoves will often show a marked decrease in performance. See above (page 71) for a discussion of checking and replacing the gaskets.

Chimney needs cleaning. If the venting system is getting blocked with soot and creosote, it will make a world of difference in terms of performance and safety. See Checking a Chimney on page 8 for information on checking and cleaning chimneys.

Poor wood supply. Are you using the same fuel as always, or a new load? If your wood's too green or wet, it might be the culprit.

Changes in the house. Have you recently altered the house, by adding insulation, replacement windows, or new caulking? If you have made the house much less "leaky" recently, you may have a problem of depressurization. See page 29 for details." from here

and I was wrong about the ecofan..its a brilliant idea but I was thinking of a different fan/vent that fits around the chimney liner and I cant find it AAAGGGGRRRR! will get back to you when I've finished picking my bits of exploded brain off the floor...

ok will check this evening after I've been up to the workshed..I'm on a moped this week and its bbbbb**** freezing! My phone might go off any minute tho so sorry if I seem a bit slow..I'm changing internet& phone service today.

Try for a secondhand stove if you think you need a replacement..but I would try all the other things first anyway as they will all save more heat in the inline damper do you mean a fitting in the back flu on the stove with a lever to close it down? if so this sound slike a good idea.

they sit round the chimney liner inside the chimney I think and I think there are several sizes and types… my internet ill be off for a week or so tho so I might not be able to check on it…

Sorry I havent got back to you sooner James but weve been over to France looking at the house that we are going to be living in from April onwards,just back.

Our current house being Victorian just had a brick chimney with no flu liners (just a square hole made of bricks which the smoke rose up)
I had to go onto the roof and drop a flexible 6 inch metal flu-lining pipe down which had to attatch to the top of the stove and clipped to a cowl at the top of the chimney (which held it in place)

A chimney works because hot air rises but a wood burning stove produces flue gases that are cooler than an open fire so you need a smaller flue to get the best from your fire.If I hadnt put in a flu liner ours wouldnt have worked very well as the cold air in the large chimney space would have further cooled the gases and

Ive just seen the pictures that youve posted where youve taken the galvanised plate away,why dont you go the whole hog and take the whole chimney hood away (if safe to do so) and open up the whole room.

You dont need a liner as you have your stove pipe (same thing) going up to the top of the chimey(?).
When you had the galvanised plate there I didnt know if that was just an old chimney space above the plate.
You may at some point have to fit a debris plate that will be smaller and out of site but will do the job that the galvanised plate did but this shouldnt need to be very big,just enough to block the hole and stop any debris coming down the chimney.You can always retro fit this as it depends on the state of the chimney really on how much soot and the like comes down the stack
Here is a picture of the type i fitted

You may want to look at the baffle plate of your stove as this is what creates the main draw,ours looks something like this Baffle Plate (vl24),the long part sits on a ledge at the back of the fire and leans across the top of the fire where two little knobs hold the smaller part in place.This forces the air up and around it to create the draw.
When we built traditional chimneys with teracotta flue liners we always built in two splayed flue liners to help with the draw
You can see an example here
So you have a straight pipe coming from your stove up and out of the chimney,the plate inside could be a cause of it not burning and functioning properly

Removed the unwanted pipe and steel sheet, now need to insulate the gap

Find more photos like this on SURVIVE FRANCE NETWORK

I’m warming to this

Bullerjan Indusrty

Home made ecofan in action!

Jo, is there a supplier of the Ecofan in France?

The seal is in good condition, there’s still a draught of air around it though.

I just had a look at the ecofan website, are they meant to sit on top of the wood burner or is there one that can be installed in the chimney itself do you know?


Thanks Jo,

I like the idea of the fan, especially as it would require no power supply. You are the second person to mention that the draw could be too much, should I install an inline damper or look for a stove that has one included?

Could you please send details of the pipe with the access for cleaning if you can find it, it’s 150mm.

Back boilers sound great, can they be used to run a radiator easily, I suppose I mean is this a DIY possibility?