Before the system is installed:

  • Check with your municipal building department to see if a building permit is needed. Some municipalities require that you get a building permit to exchange an older stove for a new one.
  • Contact your insurance agent to find out if the installation will affect your policy. If there will be an increase you think is too high, shop around. Insurance company treatment of wood heat installations varies widely.
  • Spend some time with your retailer, installer or contractor going over the plans for the installation. Make sure you understand what is involved and what the cost will be. If you are installing the unit yourself, get advice from a trained professional on any points you are unsure about.
  • Read the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully.

While the system is being installed:

  • Satisfy yourself that the manufacturer's instructions are being followed exactly. If the installer deviates from the instructions, ask why.

After the installation is completed:

  • Check the installation over to be sure it meets code requirements.
  • Have the installation inspected by your municipal building department. Some municipal building and fire departments are reluctant to inspect wood heat systems. In some cases these departments will refer you to a local retailer, installer or chimney sweep for inspection. Ask all service people for a certificate of qualification from either WETT, or HEARTH, or CSIA, or an equvialent.
  • Notify your insurance agent that the installation is complete.
  • Install at least one smoke detector on or near the ceiling of the room in which the appliance is installed. A carbon monxide detector is also a good idea. Replace the unit or its batteries as often as the manufacturer recommends.
  • Buy an approved ABC-type fire extinguisher and store it near the installation. Follow the instructions on the extinguisher label for maintenance procedures.