Have you been considering buying a wood stove? Shopping for a wood stove can become stressful if you do not know exactly what you are looking for. The market today is full of so many different options when it comes to wood stoves. There are a few things that you should pay close attention to so that you choose the right wood stove for your home.
Choosing the size of the Wood Stove
The first thing to consider is the size of the area that you would like to heat. Are you looking for a wood stove that will be used as your main heat source heating the entire home? Or will the wood stove just be used as supplemental heat to help cut costs? Knowing the square footage of the area that you would like to heat will help you to determine the size of wood stove that will be perfect for your home. Choosing a wood stove that is too large for the area or too small is not going to be efficient for your home. It will either put out too much heat for the area or not enough.
Wood Stove BTU Output for Heating
Another aspect to help determine what size wood stove you should be shopping for is the BTU output. The BTU (British Thermal Units) rating is the manufacturer’s way to rate the heat output. This is a good thing to know because the higher the wood stoves BTU output the more heat you will get out of it. But please keep in mind that the BTU rating is not the only thing that you want to go by for the size because it rates the maximum heat output for that stove obtained under perfect conditions using the perfect firewood. The BTU rating of a wood stove is very useful information to have though.
A Wood Stove’s Construction Materials
There are two main materials used in the construction of today’s wood stoves. Wood Stoves are commonly constructed of either Cast Iron or Steel. There is really no difference in the heating performance the difference in materials has to do with how it looks and the cost. A cast iron wood stove is very pleasing to the eye with curves in the design but they also are more costly. A wood stove made of steel is will heat up very quickly and immediately start giving off heat. However it will not retain the heat like a cast iron stove will. A cast iron wood stove will radiate heat into the room even after the fire has died down.
Size of the Firebox
The size of the firebox is going to determine the length of the firewood that can be used and also the size of the fire that can be built. It also determines the diameter of the logs that can be used. This helps for longer burn times. The burn time is the length of time that the wood stove will hold the fire before needing to add more firewood. The standard wood stove firebox measures approx. 16’’, but there are some wood stove fireboxes that will accepts up to 18’’ to 20’’ length logs.
Clean Burning EPA Certified Wood Stoves
These days the condition of the environment is very important to all. Most wood stoves are EPA Certified now. In order for a wood burning stove to be EPA certified it must comply with strict emissions and efficiency regulations designed to reduce pollution and control energy costs. So you can consider a EPA certification as a guarantee that the stove is going to burn cleanly and efficiently all while reducing your heating costs and keeping your family safe.
Additional Benefits to Look for in a Wood Stove
- Adding a blower to a wood stove will drastically increase the heat output during wood burning fires. A variable speed blower will help you to maintain just the right temperature even on the coldest of days.
- A firebox lined with firebricks will help with the heat retention of the firebox.
- Having a bottom air feed will help with the air circulation in the firebox.