I have an older gas stove in my kitchen. On the left of it is a wood shelf but on the right and behind it are drywall panels. The gap between back of stove and back wall is around 5 inches. The problem I have is that when the oven is turned on it also heats the back drywall to the point where it becomes bendable.

I was told that the newer stoves are built better so that the heat does not go in the back but comes through air ducts out of the front of the stove (I did see the air ducts).

How do I go about double checking this before I purchase a new stove? I do want to believe that newer stoves insulate the heat better, but how should I go about double checking this before making a purchase?

As far as increasing the gap between the stove and the back wall, it is the last resort, because I do not want to stove sticking out in front of the side shelves.

  • 1
    The key thing to look for is the installation manual. It will tell you the required side or back wall clearance requirements for the stove. If the store has actual stoves on display you should be able to ask the attendant on duty to see the installation manual for the stove first hand.
    – Michael Karas
    Dec 13, 2014 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


Go the stove manufacturers' websites and read the installation manuals for the stoves, checking particularly for installation clearances.

You could also replace the drywall behind the stove with 5/8 or 1/2" (depending what the surrounding drywall is) tile-backer (cement-board) and/or cover it with 1/4, 1/2 or 5/8" spaced off the wall surface by 1/2" to 1" (look up "woodstove wall-protectors" for the idea) and cover with aluminum foil if going for the last bit of effect. Aluminum sheet (flashing material) spaced off the wall has a similar effect (radiant barrier.)

You may well have damaged (or missing) insulation in the back of your current stove if it's heating the wall that strongly.


Many ovens have thermal fuses in various places. For example, my Kitchenaid double oven has a thermal fuse above the control panel, which is not too hard to replace.

It also has one on the back. That one on the back is not easy to access. When it burned up (by design, that's what a thermal fuse does), I had to:

  • Build a contraption at approximately the height of the bottom of the oven - hard.
  • Pull the oven out - moderate.
  • Take apart the oven and replace the fuse - easy.
  • Slide the oven back in while manipulating the wiring (big cable, junction box, wire whip) to be on top of the oven like it was originally - !@*(#$TYE(FGIW$*RFG&QOPDWL:QG$(@*T(QEGFSGF:!

So yes, ovens are designed to not be too hot in back, and to turn themselves off automatically if they get too hot.

In general, very little clearance is required behind an oven, and drywall is a normal surface behind an oven. An oven with a fan that forces excess heat (and in the case of gas, combustion products) out of the oven through the front when running will generally do a better job of keeping the back temperature in a normal range than an oven without a fan.

  • 1
    And it will, as an added bonus, blow all that heat into the middle of the kitchen where it will warm random passers by
    – FreeMan
    Sep 13 at 20:08

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