Features to consider while choosing a wood burning stove
As you can imagine, there are a lot of different factors that you need to consider to make sure that you get the best wood burning stove in the world. In this section, we will guide you through each of these considerations so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to buy your new stove.
When it comes to picking a new wood burning stove, the first thing that you need to consider is what type you want. There are several different types available, but they can be broken into two main categories. These two categories are stoves that can be used indoors and those that are designed to be used outside.
Indoor – Indoor stoves are great for heating up a home. They are built to soak up the heat from the fire within them and spread it out into space where they are installed. Indoor stoves are meant to be installed in one spot and never move since they are usually very heavy. These stoves can be set up in two different ways. You can either get a freestanding model or a fireplace insert.
- Freestanding – The benefit of using a freestanding model is that you can install it pretty much anywhere that you want to. Since you don’t need to put it into an already existing chimney, you will be able to find the perfect spot before getting it installed. The downside to this, of course, is that you will need to prepare the area a bit more than you would with a fireplace insert. The wall and floor will need to be tiled or bricked, and a chimney will need to be installed on the outside of your house to properly vent it. Thankfully, these chimneys are usually made of metal, which is much cheaper to install and maintain than a standard brick chimney.
- Fireplace Insert – As the name would suggest, a fireplace insert is installed in an existing fireplace. It is then vented through the chimney, which saves a bunch on the installation cost. The downside of a fireplace insert is that, since only the front of it is sticking out past the fireplace, they don’t put out quite as much heat as a freestanding stove.
Outdoor – If you are looking for an outdoor stove, odds are you have a particular application in mind. Outdoor stoves can be broken into three different categories, which include camp stoves, backpacking stoves, and fire pits.
- Camp stoves – If you are someone that likes to make extended treks into the wilderness and usually set up a semi-permanent campsite, this type of stove is for you. These stoves work well inside of a tent to heat a space and cook a meal, making them an excellent option in this regard. They are, however, on the heavy side, which will limit their effectiveness if you want to be on the move a lot while camping.
- Backpacking stoves – If you are someone that wants a great wood burning stove for your next camping trip, then a backpacking stove is the way to go. These stoves are lightweight and collapsible, which makes them easy to take along with you on the trail. Of course, their smaller size does reduce the amount of heat they can produce, so you need to bear that in mind when you are making your final decision.
- Fire pit – Fire pits are great for anyone looking for a great way to stay warm while lounging on their outdoor patio. These pits will allow you to safely contain your fire near your residence, which is a big plus. These pits will provide a bit of heat and ambiance but won’t keep you warm enough if the temperature is below freezing.
If you are looking into an indoor model, then the next thing that you need to consider is the BTU output of your new stove. This number describes how much heat a wood stove can put out in a given amount of time. Obviously, the higher the number, the more heat it can put out. A higher BTU output will also mean that your space will warm up at a faster rate than it would with a stove with a lower BTU output, so be sure to find the one that fits your preferences.
A stove like the Drolet Escape 1800, for instance, will create a ton of heat. It has a BTU rating of 75,000, which will help to keep you nice and toasty, even when the temperature outside drops well below freezing. The Century FW3000 is another great heater in this regard, which is to be expected in a freestanding stove.
The next thing that you need to decide upon is just how large of an area you need to warm up with your stove. It is best to find the area of your home or at least the floor that you want to warm with your stove so that you can get one that meets your needs.
It is always a good idea to get a stove with a larger coverage area than you think that you will need so that you will be covered for sure. The last thing that you want is to get one that isn’t suited for the size of your home, as it won’t warm you up at all.
The best stove that we found if you want to heat your whole home is the Drolet Escape 1800. It has a coverage area of 2,100 square feet, which should be more than enough for most homes. On the other hand, if you only want to heat up a small part of your house, then the Ashley Hearth AW1120E-P would probably get the job done without costing you too much.
You also need to figure out the size of the wood burning stove that would work best for your needs. If you are looking at an indoor model, then you need to take very careful measurements to make sure that it will either fit into your fireplace or the spot that you are going to install the stove. Otherwise, you won’t be able to utilize it safely, since it needs to be kept several feet away from a wall to be installed correctly.
For outdoor units, like the F2C Outdoor Wood Burning Fireplace, the dimensions aren’t going to be as much of a factor, unless you have a very small yard. Otherwise, since you have the whole outdoors to work with, the size of your stove shouldn’t be too big of an issue unless you want to move it around a lot.
When it comes to the portability of a woodburning stove, you are only going to be looking at outdoor models. Indoor stoves are generally very heavy, which makes them impossible for you to move from place to place. It would also be a very bad idea to connect and disconnect an indoor stove, as this could have a negative effect on their safety.
Outdoor stoves, on the other hand, are made to be moved around. The Lixada Camping Wood Stove, for instance, only weighs in at 1 pound. This lightweight design makes it easy to pack up and take along with you as you travel down the trail. The Fltom Camp Tent Stove is another good camp stove, though you certainly wouldn’t want to have to carry it for too terribly long since it weighs about 50 pounds.
No matter what type of big purchase you are making, whether it be a washer, refrigerator, or wood burning stove, it is always a good idea to read through the warranty information as carefully as possible. That way, you will have a much better understanding of what is and what isn’t covered by the manufacturer.
Many companies will claim to offer up a nice long warranty but only cover certain parts should they fail. By reading the warranty information closely, you will gain a good understanding of which parts are actually covered by the agreement. That way, you won’t be surprised if the company declines to cover any repairs. This will also allow you to find the warranty with the best content, not just the one that sounds the best.
Wood burning stoves are relatively straightforward devices. They all share very similar parts, though there are some features that you might want to keep an eye out for. One of these extra features is an integrated blower. A blower will help to expedite the spread of heat in your home, which is, obviously, a big plus.
Another feature that you might want to consider is the size of the firebox. The larger the size of the inner chamber, the larger the logs that you can fit inside. Larger logs will burn for a longer amount of time, which will help to save you from cutting your fuel into small pieces. Since you won’t have to cut the logs that you are burning down so much, you will save a lot of prep time in the long run.
As you might have already figured out, you need to be careful with how you utilize your new wood stove so that it can be operated in a safe manner. These include the following:
- Install correctly – This cannot be overstated, in order for you to enjoy safe and reliable heat in your home with a wood stove, you need to have it installed correctly. If you have never done this sort of thing on your own before, then it is a good idea to have a professional come in and put in your stove for you. That way, you can rest assured that your stove won’t malfunction and cause a fire.
- Keep children away – It should go without saying that you need to make sure that your little ones stay away from your new wood stove. These stoves can get extremely hot on their exterior, which could easily cause a burn if your kids aren’t careful. It might be a good idea to set up a barrier around the stove if your children are very young to help keep them away.
- Clean regularly – Once your fire has burned down and gone cold, you need to make sure to clear out the ashes so that they don’t block up the firebox. This can be done with a brush and ash tin for day to day maintenance, but it is also a good idea to use a vacuum to clear out your stove at least once a month to keep it operating as efficiently as possible.
- Chimney maintenance – Something else that you will need to have cleaned is your chimney. This should be done at least once a year. That will help to prevent your chimney from becoming blocked or catching on fire. By keeping your chimney nice and clean, you will prevent a ton of headaches for yourself down the road.