Wood stoves add a warm ambiance to your living space and can heat your home with efficiency. In general, as long as you have sufficient clearance, you can place a wood stove in front of a window. But you should never install it immediately next to the window or any other object. It is essential to adhere to building codes and regulations for safe clearance. Use a proper chimney flue and avoid venting the stove out the window.
If placed too close to a window, the high heat from your stove could cause the glass to heat up beyond safe levels, so it's important to establish a safe distance. A safe distance varies based on the type of stove, manufacturer guidelines and the safety codes in your area. For many wood stoves, such as pot belly stoves, a safe distance of at least 24 inches is recommended around noncombustible objects. Local building codes or insurance policies might have different requirements. One way to check whether your stove is too close to a window is to place your hand gently on the glass. If it is uncomfortably warm, the stove should probably be moved farther away.
The best location for a wood stove is one where the heat can get the best circulation through your home. Try to center it as close to the middle of a room and house as possible in order to maximize the ambient heat. Any time a stove is placed along the outside walls of a home, it has the potential to lose heat through doors and windows. In any case, wood stoves must sit on a floor that is composed of metal, stone, tile or other non-combustible materials, and this protection should extend 18 inches on each side.
Another consideration is the placement of the stove pipe. A stove pipe placed too close to a window, or directed straight through it, can be a hazard. Though it might seem like the easiest ventilation option, such an installation can be dangerous and messy. Creosote builds up much quicker with this type of installation because of the fast cooling that results as the smoke rises. Obtain expert advice when installing your wooden stove to a chimney.
You should never place a wood stove near a window if combustible items are nearby. Such items include cotton, cloth, furniture, drapes, wood or any items that can easily catch fire if left too close to an ignition source. Maintain a distance of at least 36 inches from these materials. Consult your insurance company, stove manufacturer or local building codes for advice about safe installation around such items.