Wood stoves provide plenty of heat, which might make you wonder why they need to be insulated. Many materials are used to insulate a wood stove, allowing it to heat the room without causing various structural problems. In fact, almost any type of stove uses some form of insulation.
Wood stoves have insulation in them to promote an efficient updraft that sends the smoke through the chimney. Firebricks and baffle blankets are also used to prevent condensation, mold, and uneven heat distribution. Reducing the moisture and smoke drastically lowers the soot in the stove.
In this post, we’ll show you why your wood stove needs to be insulated, various forms of insulation, and what you can do to modify and improve your stove.
Do You Need Insulation in a Wood Stove?
You need insulation in a wood stove to improve its draft and reduce the soot. Insulation plays a key role in protecting your floors, ceilings, and walls since it traps the heat inside the stove. Most wood stoves come with insulation, but you can typically add more layers if the manufacturer recommends it.
So, why should you insulate your wood stove?
- Insulation reduces the condensation, mold, and mildew in the stove. Humidity causes mold almost anywhere it settles. Wood stoves are perfect for mold and mildew because they’re dark and porous. However, adding insulation will drastically reduce the humidity and moisture in the stove, preventing mold, mildew, and bacteria.
- High-quality insulation lowers the soot and creosote, making the stove easier to clean. Soot is a nasty, thick, chalky substance that comes from poor-quality burning. Insulating your wood stove lets the fire get hot enough to blow the smoke out of the chimney rather than settling in the stove as soot.
- Padding the stove keeps it from leaving burn marks on nearby walls and furniture. Wood stoves get extremely hot without insulation. They’re hot enough to burn holes on wood floors, carpets, rugs, and other surfaces. Insulating the stove keeps the heat inside rather than making the stove hot to the touch.
- Interior insulation traps the heat, allowing it to increase the ambient temperature much quicker. Insulation helps your stove perform its job much more efficiently. If properly insulated, your stove can get hot without letting any of the fire’s warmth escape through the thin walls.
- Atlas Chimney explains wood stove insulation guides the gasses upward, allowing them to escape through the chimney. You won’t have to worry about the room getting too smokey or clouded with ash. Wood stoves often have chimneys or vents designed to ventilate the smoke accordingly.
As you can see, insulation is a crucial part of owning a wood stove. Not only does it allow the chimney to reduce the soot and creosote, but it also limits how often you have to clean it. Soot and condensation lead to unwanted odors, so your insulated wood stove is a natural smell barrier!
What Does a Baffle Blanket Do?
A baffle blanket prevents heat from escaping the wood stove, allowing it to heat up quicker. Also known as a baffle plate, this unique insulating material usually sits above the fire. As the heat rises, it hits the insulation and stays inside the stove. These blankets and plates are quite useful for stoves of all sizes.
If you’re considering a baffle blanket, ask yourself these two questions:
- Does your wood stove include a built-in baffle plate or baffle blanket? Many modern wood stoves have baffle plates and blankets because of their efficiency. Companies often include insulation to increase their product’s value. You don’t need to get another baffle plate if your wood stove has one already.
- What size baffle insulation should you get? The baffle plate or blanket needs to be the same width and length as your wood stove’s interior dimensions. Some of the blankets can be cut to size, though. The thickness is also important, so we recommend a ½” baffle plate or blanket.
If you’re looking for a baffle blanket, try the Lynn Universal Baffle Blanket. This product measures ½” thick by 20” wide and 24” long. You can cut it to your wood stove’s size, making it the perfect choice for almost any wood stove. Furthermore, this baffle blanket comes in multiple thicknesses to suit your stove’s needs.
According to Fireplace Universe, improving the insulation also improves the stove’s ability to push the heat through the chimney (if you have one). The soot and creosote sink back into the stove when the fire isn’t hot enough. Using baffle blankets can help the fire get warm enough to blow the smoke out of the chimney.
Do You Need Insulating Firebrick in a Wood Stove?
You don’t need insulating firebrick in a wood stove, but it can help reduce the stove’s external surface heat. A firebrick can protect your hands from burns if you accidentally touch the stove. They usually sit below the wood, letting it stay cool for a lot longer. The heat pushes away from the brick, letting the smoke flow upward.
Bowland Stoves recommends people use fire bricks because they prevent heat erosion. While wood stoves are designed to handle the heat, the metal eventually warps and breaks down. Adding a firebrick will keep your stove in good condition for a much longer time. What makes them even better is that they slide into the bottom without a difficult installation process.
When you’re ready to replace your wood stove’s firebrick, it’s essential to use one recommended by the manufacturer. Your stove needs specific firebrick dimensions to achieve a tight seal. If there’s no seal, the brick won’t insulate properly.
Firebricks eventually become brittle and cracked. If you notice yours is broken, it’s time to get a new one. A firebrick is useless once it cracks because the seal is damaged. The longer you wait to replace it, the bigger the crack will get. It can get quite crumbly and messy, so we highly suggest replacing it with a manufacturer-recommended firebrick as soon as possible.
Additional Wood Stove Resources
For more information about wood stoves, you can check out our other wood stove articles:
- Why Do Wood Stoves Have Insulation in Them?
- Wood Stove Smells When Not in Use? Top 5 Causes (+ Fixes)
- How to Keep Your Wood Stove From Getting Too Hot (7 Tips)
- How to Stop Downdraft in a Wood Stove (DIY Guide)
- How to Stop a Wood Stove from Rusting: 8 Easy Tips
- Wood Stove Smells Like Burning Plastic? Top 6 Causes
- How to Keep a Wood Burning Stove Going All Night (5 Tips)
- Seasoned vs. Unseasoned Wood: 5 Key Differences