What Flue is Best For Your Wood Heater?

Once you have chosen your wood heater (see here), select the most appropriate flue for your installation.

For freestanding heaters, there are two main choices.

  • Triple-Skin Flue: This is the standard flue kit used for years in Adelaide homes. It has various styles, including stainless, painted stainless, and decromesh.
  • Insulated Flue: This modern flue takes advantage of ceramic wool insulation to create a flue that is more efficient, quieter, and easier to install. Again, various styles include hybrid insulated and uninsulated flue and room-sealed versions.

What is a Triple-Skin Flue?

Triple-skin flues have been the standard flue for wood heaters for years. They are very simple and effective flues that use an inner active stainless steel flue that connects to the wood heater spigot. They get extremely hot and use air-cooled outer layers of galvanised flue to protect combustible materials. 

They are available in various designs:

Stainless Steel:

Painted Stainless Steel:

Painted Stainless Steel with Shield:

Decromesh – Herringbone:

Decromesh – Cloverleaf: 

They are cheaper, more straightforward to manufacture, and have less upfront costs. Triple-skin flue is cheaper and a good choice for many older homes.

However, there are some downsides. Triple-skin flue uses air from the room to cool the flue. A large volume of warm air escapes your home, making your heater less efficient.

Secondly, the flue is more complicated to install and has a large 12-inch diameter. It can be challenging to install in some locations, especially in corners or near beams or ridgelines.

Finally, traditional flues use a metal-on-metal construction, which can create extra noise and amplify high winds.

The alternative is using an insulated flue:

Insulated Flues

Insulated flues are the standard flue they use in other countries. Like a traditional flue, they connect to the heater spigot with an active stainless steel inner flue. Then, they wrap this active flue in heat-proof ceramic wool insulation before casing it in another layer of stainless steel pipe. 

Insulation has several benefits. 

  • It keeps the active flue warmer, allowing the heater to burn more efficiently and reduce emissions. A wood heater with an insulated chimney can burn up to 20% longer than a default flue kit.
  • The insulation helps deaden any sound while reducing cavities that can cause resonance. An insulated flue can be up to 90% quieter than a standard flue kit.
  • It eliminates the need for a rear heat shield or decromesh, creating a cleaner appearance. 

RSF Flue – Clever Design

Energy Hothouse uses the room-sealed insulated flue (RSF) from the Pivot Stove and Heating company. This Australian company has designed an ingenious product that takes the benefits of insulated ducting and adapts them to make it even more beneficial for modern homes.

Room Sealed

Because an insulated flue does not need airflow to cool the surrounding metal, Pivot has designed a clever insulated ceiling ring that prevents much of the traditional heat loss associated with triple-skin flue kits.

Sealing the room makes a Room Sealed Insulated Flue 8% more efficient and means you can generate more heat from less wood. This flue will also allow a new home to pass the vacuum test for a 7* energy rating. 

Stainless Steel Construction

All Pivot RSF flues use stainless steel on both inner and outer pipes. It looks more attractive than the outer galvanised metal used on a default kit. It will also hold up better against salt and weather.

Click Lock Attachments

Unlike a triple-skin flue kit, the RSF flue kits use a click lock attachment to secure the flue together. This makes installation much more straightforward and removes the requirement to screw or rivet the flue together. This is particularly helpful when installing bends or longer lengths. 

Overall, the best flue is the one that suits your requirements. Our knowledgeable team can discuss your installation and help you decide which flue system is best for you and your home.

Call us at (08) 7225-9090 or come into our showroom at 867 South Road, Clarence Gardens, and we can work with you to find the best possible solution for your wood heater.

For more information on the Pivot RSF Flue, see their website here: https://pivotstove.com.au/catalogue/hearth-flue/insulated-flue/rsfk/ 

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We can arrange to service any type of appliance. We sell, either with our own qualified trades people. We specialize in pre season air-conditioning checks & cleaning.