Does A Pellet Stove Need A Chimney? (Must Know This)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

There are many ways to burn wood to heat your home, but one of the most efficient ways is using a pellet stove.

These stoves are much more advanced than traditional wood-burning stoves, and they can burn fuel at a much higher rate while still delivering the same amount of heat energy.

However, one problem with pellet stoves is whether or not you’ll need to install a chimney if you don’t already have one in place.

Pellet stoves have been becoming increasingly popular in recent years, and they’re not hard to install if you know what you’re doing. This article will explain if you need a chimney when installing a pellet stove.

When installing a pellet stove, you can choose to use a chimney with it. However, you do not need a chimney for it; you only have to ensure that there’s a means for adequate ventilation for your wood-burning stove. To safely get rid of stale air from your home, you must install a flue.

Does a Wood Pellet Stove Need a Chimney?

Does a Pellet Stove Need a Chimney

Wood pellet stoves are an excellent way to heat your home sustainably and efficiently. When installing a pellet stove, you do not need a chimney.

However, if you have an existing chimney, you can likely install a wood pellet stove insert, and if you don’t have a chimney, you can still install a pellet stove but with a vent in your home.

Pellet stoves are one of the few that don’t need a chimney, and you can place the vent via a side wall.

It provides greater flexibility throughout the installation process and minimizes the overall costs associated with the installation.

A good number of homeowners can also install pellet stoves on their own; you can connect your pellet stoves to chimneys that are already in place. How you install a pellet stove will depend on your home and situation.

If you have an existing wood stove or if you’re installing a wood pellet stove insert, then it’s likely that your current chimney can handle that type of fuel source.

However, you likely won’t need a chimney if you have a freestanding pellet stove. 

There are many options for installing your pellet stove chimney—the most popular being an exterior wall of your home.

However, it is generally only an option if you live in a moderate or warm climate because outdoor conditions make it challenging to use an outdoor chimney year-round. 

In addition, installing a pellet stove chimney can be tricky, so it’s best to consult a professional before moving forward.

What Kind of Chimney Do I Need for a Pellet Stove?

A pellet stove needs a chimney to function properly and safely. The type of chimney you need will depend on the type of pellet stove you have.

There are three main types of pellet stoves: freestanding, insert, and built-in. Each type of stove requires a different kind of chimney.

When fixing a pellet stove inside a masonry fireplace, a stainless steel liner is designed for use with masonry chimneys and is often necessary for the installation.

The pellet stove flue can be either internal or external, but you must build it to comply with the manufacturer’s instructions and the local building codes.

If you intend to install a pellet stove inside a brick fireplace to use an existing chimney, then one or more of the items listed below may be needed:

  • A flue liner is made of stainless steel, most likely most of the time.
  • A chimney cowl is adequate for protection from the wind.
  • A register plate which you find at the bottom of the chimney.

The flue criteria for pellet stoves that don’t have a chimney will differ for each model.

However, do note that you must set up your pellet stove chimney according to the manufacturer’s instructions and any building rules and regulations that apply to your area.

Once you know what type of stove you want, talk with your dealer about what kind of chimney you need. They can help you find a chimney that matches the size and type of your stove.

How Often Do You Need to Clean a Pellet Stove Chimney?

It’s essential to clean your pellet stove chimney every year and more often if you use your stove more frequently.

Soot and creosote can build up inside your chimney over time, which is dangerous because it can cause a fire.

Cleaning your chimney on an annual basis will help protect against any buildup of creosote.

Aside from you servicing your chimney pellet stoves once a year, they also need regular maintenance, mainly cleaning.

It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to do this, and a special ash vacuum makes this job more manageable. But unfortunately, soot and ash can ruin a conventional vacuum.

Here are some things to clean in a pellet stove chimney weekly during the heating season:

  • Depending on the pellets you consume and how frequently you use your stove, clean the glass daily to weekly to check fuel efficiency. Clear glass improves your stove’s appearance and lets you see inside. Turn off the burner, wait 20 minutes, then clean the interior and outside with paper towels and a hot glass cleaner.
  • The frequency with which you empty the ashtray of your pellet stove depends on how much you burn. It would help if you cleaned some sizes weekly, while larger ones might go almost a month. Empty it when you deep clean your stove.
  • Different factors affect how frequently you clean your vent pipes. Check your stove’s vent pipe often until you know how long it takes to get to a quarter-inch accumulation.
  • Daily scraping of the burn pot reduces accumulation and makes deep cleaning more manageable. However, if your pellets don’t produce much ash, you may need to scrape them every few days.

To clean your chimney, you’ll need to hire a professional or buy a chimney cleaning kit to clean your vent.

Advantages of Having a Chimney for Wood Pellet Stove

Wood pellet stoves are an excellent way to heat your home in an eco-friendly and cost-effective manner.

Here are some advantages of having a chimney for your pellet stove:

  • The main advantage of having a wood pellet stove with a chimney is that it eliminates smoke buildup and odors inside your home. Pellets, while they burn cleanly, still create ash in large quantities, which will fill up your stove if left unchecked. 
  • Another advantage of having a wood pellet stove chimney is that it will allow you to burn your pellets more efficiently. Most pellet stove manufacturers utilize forced air systems to ensure clean, efficient burning. Forced air systems need airflow, ideally from below, to perform correctly.
  • The final advantage to having a wood pellet stove chimney is that it allows you to convert your home into more of an all-pellet system. A benefit of having an all-pellet system is that it removes your dependence on other fuel sources, such as natural gas or electricity.

Can You Install a Pellet Stove Without a Chimney?

You might wonder if you can install a pellet stove without a chimney. The answer is yes, you can! Even if your home has a chimney, you can still use an external vent when installing a pellet stove.

Here’s how you can install a pellet stove without a chimney!

Hire a professional.When installing a pellet stove, follow local codes. The big pellet stove requires two people. Therefore, hiring a specialist to install the pellet stove and manage the ventilation is crucial.
Install a vent.Plan where to install a vent for a seamless installation. Vent via an external wall as running it up the roof could be more complicated. Hiring a specialist can complete this job correctly and without damage.
Keep a safe distance.Install pellet stoves 1 to 2 inches from the rear wall. Make a place for your vent pipe by moving away from the wall. It helps hide ventilation pipes and keeps them horizontal.
Put in a hearth pad.Pellet stoves need a non-combustible hearth pad. Make one with a concrete backer board, or buy one from a pellet stove supplier.
Read the owner’s manual.Use the stud finder to spot wall studs, which lets you know which wall to cut. Cut the drywall to confirm. Now you can cut your vent pipe and exhaust through the external wall.


When installing a pellet stove and having no chimney, you do not need to bother, as it isn’t a must-have; you only need to ensure adequate ventilation for the stove.

If you have a chimney, you can also use it with your wood-burning stove. You can use your pellet stove without a chimney by installing a vent externally.

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