Should you use the top flue exit or the rear flue exit on your woodburner?
Many appliances come with the option of having the flue connect on either the top or the rear of the stove body. The woodburner will usually come with a blanking plate to seal the flue exit that will not be in use. Typically a stove will arrive configured with the flue collar on top and geared up for use with the top flue exit, but it is easy to swap to the rear flue exit
But which option is best?
Using top flue exit
Generally, using the top flue exit will create a more elegant look, particularly in the case of freestanding stoves when all of the stove is on display. The straight line out of the appliance and skywards creates an aesthetically satisfying appearance.
The straight flue also gives an easier path for the flue gases, so that can lead to slight performance benefits in terms of the draw up your chimney.
Using rear flue exit
Using the rear flue exit can have benefits, particularly if the stove is being fitted within a fireplace recess. If three-quarters of the stove are surrounded by the fireplace, a lot of heat will go towards heating the inside walls of the fireplace rather than the room. Using the rear flue exit will immediately cause the appliance to jut further into the room and make better use of the fuel you’re burning.
The rear flue exit may provide slight benefits in terms of the amount of heat generated. The flue gases have slightly further to travel before exiting the firebox than when the top flue exit is use, so more of the flammable gases may be burnt as a result.
Downsides of using the rear exit are that it might be trickier to sweep your chimney and also that it might be slightly harder to light your stove when the chimney is cold.
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