Single Wall vs. Double Wall Pipe – What Should You Go For

Double wall is almost always better

There is rarely a time when a single wall pipe is an actually better choice than the double wall for your wood stove. Let me go for a few examples to explain this situation.

Needs less space

To start with, I will have to mention the biggest benefit first – a double walled pipe gets less hot.

This means you are going to be able to place the stove a lot closer to combustible materials.

The difference is huge – most SW pipe must be at least 18 inches away from walls, while DW, many of the times, can get as close as 6 inches to the same thing.

Because of that, you’ll be able to place the stove as far in the room as possible, wasting less space and being more functional.

But single wall gives off more heat!

The argument I hear the most which comes in favor for the single wall pipes is that they are able to put off more heat into the room.

Now that is definitely true, but if that’s what you’re going for, you are looking at this whole heating situation the wrong way.

If you feel like you have to get a SW pipe just so you could be able to maintain the right indoor temperature, the problem is the stove.

In other words, you should always get a stove that is appropriately sized for your particular house. Relying on the additional heat that comes off the pipe just so you could maintain a comfortable temperature is backwards thinking.

Make the wood stove do all the heating, not the pipe.

It keeps the heat inside

The second great benefit of running a double wall stove pipe is that it actually keeps most of the heat inside the pipe.

What this does in the end is makes it a ton easier to maintain a proper flue temperature, and that fights creosote and minimizes draft problems.

This is an often overlooked factor by those who are new at this whole wood burning thing, but the folks who had run into this kind of problem in the past, I’m pretty sure would go for this double wall just because of this reason!

So is a single wall just bad?

Not, it really isn’t.

There are still times and places where you should use this particular kind of pipe. And one of those times is when you simply need that additional heat that comes off of it.

Now again, it’s always better to get an appropriately sized stove for your specific square footage, though if you’re not willing to go for that, a single wall pipe can really come in help with that heat it provides.

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One Comment

  1. I’ve always used double wall stove pipe leading into class A stainless steel chimney pipe. My way of thought is it is better to keep the stove pipe hot thus creating less or no creosote and keeping the flew gases moving well on out of the stove and house. You are right that you shouldn’t be thinking that the stove pipe heats your house, the wood stove should do that and don’t but I to those stove pipe heat extractors, keep those flew gases hot and on the move.

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