Unlike traditional fireplaces, wood-burning stoves can be placed basically anywhere in your home, allowing you to create a warm and inviting ambiance anywhere you wish. Aside from that, it’s an excellent and more environmentally-friendly source of heat for the cold winter months. In this article, you will get each and every kind of information for buying a wood-burning stove.
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about freezing during power outages in winter as this type of stove works even without electricity. Another benefit of wood-burning stoves is that most models use the top as a stove – making it perfect for cooking your meals as well as warming yourself.
Adding one to your home is an excellent way to liven it up and give your home a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
However, it can be difficult to find the best wood burning stove for your home, especially if you don’t know where and how to look for one. After all, this kind of addition is an investment and you wouldn’t want to invest in something that you’ll ultimately regret.
This is why we have created the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to buying wood-burning stoves. In this article, we will detail everything – from the things you should look out for several of the most prominent wood burning stove models on the market.
Through this article, you will learn everything you need to find the ideal wood burning stove for your home and ensure that your investment will be something that you can enjoy for a long period of time.
Read on to find out about the best wood-burning stoves available today.
Best Rated Wood Burning Stoves Comparison Table
7 Best Wood Burning Stoves Product Review
Check out the top 7 best wood burning stove models on the market. We have featured the best stoves in the market based on customer reviews after purchasing.
Integrate a wood-burning stove into your living space with the Timberwolf Economizer Fireplace Insert. This wood-burning stove model allows you to add a touch of elegance and warmth to your home without hurting the environment. It features a large firebox that can hold 18-inch logs and can burn up to 8 hours without stopping.
It also has a ceramic glass viewing area that allows you to watch as the logs burn inside, perfect for cold days when you’re all bundled up with a hot drink in hand. It includes a dual-blower system that spreads the heat evenly in the room. It can heat up to 2,000 square feet of space, making it ideal for heating up large living spaces.
Capable of heating up to 2,400 square feet of space, the Drolet HT2000 Wood Stove is perfect for use in heating up large spaces during the cold winter months. This wood-burning stove is easy to operate due to the air control found above the door.
It also features a high-efficiency rating of 78% – however, this will depend on the type of wood you’re using as low-quality wood can affect its output and overall performance. It has an extra-large firebox, measuring 3.4 cubic feet – something that allows it to hold multiple 22-inch logs with no problems. The built-in ash drawer makes the clean-up easy and convenient too.
It can keep going up to 9 hours of continuous use, ensuring that you keep warm all throughout the day or night. Watch the enchanting view of burning firewood through its ceramic glass window while you enjoy a cup of your favorite hot beverage.
Another model considered to be among the best is the Vogelzang Ponderosa TR007. This wood-burning stove is capable of accommodating up to 30 lbs of wood without worrying about it affecting the quality of the output.
Because of this, it can burn logs (of up to 22 inches in length) continuously – capable of burning for 14 hours straight. This makes it cost-efficient and convenient as you don’t have to refuel every few hours. It comes with a blower whose speed can be adjusted according to your preferences, allowing it to evenly distribute the heat inside the box.
Constructed of 3/16-inch reinforced steel and a firebrick interior lining, it helps ensure that the heat is continuously going inside. Moreover, it’s compact and easy to integrate into any space, perfect if you have limited space in your home as it doesn’t take too much space.
It also comes with a large ashtray drawer that makes cleaning up afterward easy and hassle-free – just empty it and you’re done.
The perfect middle-ground, the Pleasant Hearth Medium Wood Burning Stove features a heating capacity of 35,000 BTU, capable of heating spaces of up to 1,750 square feet – large but not too much.
It features 5 heat settings, an auto light ignition function, and a comfort control system – all of which can help you achieve optimal comfort in your home. You also have the option to use it continuously either on minimum or maximum output. Due to this, it’s capable of burning logs anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the settings you choose.
Adding to the convenience and easy utility is the inclusion of an outside air kit and convection blower which, when combined with all of the above, makes for one efficient wood burning stove. It heats up fast, easy to assemble, and safe to use.
Another model from Drolet, their Columbia wood burning stove is a highly efficient model that offers an efficiency rating of 77% – slightly lower than the other models but not by much. It’s capable of heating up spaces sized between 850 to 1,600 square feet due to its capacity to produce 29,300 to 65,000 BTUs.
It’s made of high-quality steel that offers durability and longevity to its users, ensuring that you enjoy this investment for a long time. Its interior firebox is lined with firebricks to ensure the even distribution of heat.
The Columbia model also comes with a built-in ash drawer, making clean-up easy and hassle-free. The ceramic glass door framed with cast iron allows you to see its interior as the fire burns while the glass air-wash system keeping it pristine.
The 2016EB King Wood Burning Stove from the US Stove Company is an EPA-certified stove that is capable of heating up to 2,000 square feet of space with a large output at 89,000BTUs. Like a wood-burning stove, it’s considered among the most efficient stoves on the market because of its firebrick-lined interior and 100 CFM blower that enhances its efficiency as well as its longevity and performance.
It’s capable of handling logs up to 22 inches in length and is capable of heating up your space in an economical way. It features a cool-to-the-touch handle that ensures you don’t burn yourself when checking on the heat.
The ceramic glass window provides a spectacular view into the interior, adding to the cozy and inviting ambiance of your home. In addition, it features an ash drawer that allows you to clean up the ash afterward with no problems and inconveniences.
This wood-burning stove model from Napoleon features a slim, subtle design that allows it to match any aesthetic and blend seamlessly into any home. It also gives you the option to choose the finish you want, further allowing it to blend into your home.
It features 4 stainless steel air tubes that accelerate the fuel-burning process, instantly heating up your home. It’s capable of heating spaces of up to 1,500 square feet due to its capacity of producing up to 55,000 BTUs. Its efficiency at heating your home is further enhanced by its firebrick-lined firebox and heat-circulating blower that features variable speed control.
Its large ceramic glass window allows you to view and appreciate the burning fire inside and the removable ash drawer allows you to clean it up easily after.
What Do You Need to Do When Buying a Wood Burning Stove?
Buying a wood-burning stove provides a lot of positive benefits. It is an efficient and cost-friendly way to provide heat at home. Each purchase is different due to the buyer’s needs and preference, but here is a general flow on how to buy a wood-burning stove:
- First, you must choose the size of your wood-burning stove. The compatibility of the size of the stove depends on the size of the area that it is meant to heat. The bigger the area that needs to be heated, the bigger your stove must be as well.
- Pick a type of stove material. You can opt for steel or cast iron. Steel heats faster, but cast iron is deemed to be more durable and stylish.
- Select the type of combustion. This refers to what kind of wood you prefer to use.
- Search for an accredited wood burning stove retailer.
- Has the stove delivered and installed according to the safety standards of your local government?
4 Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Wood Burning Stoves?
As already mentioned above, wood-burning stoves are excellent. However, there are a few things that you must consider when purchasing them. Here are some considerations you must take when purchasing a wood stove:
First, you need to check if your house has a provision for a wood-burning stove. You must have a chimney ready for smoke ventilation. But, if your home doesn’t have that yet, it is a good idea that you first consult a specialist. This way, you wouldn’t have to return a purchased wood burning stove due to compatibility.
Also, your stove needs to be compatible with space where you are using it. Generally, if your home is around 3000 sq ft, a medium-size stoved would be sufficient. However, if you have an open-plan house, it is better to go for a bigger size as it can affect the heating capacity of the stove.
Another primary consideration that you have to take is safety. If you live in a house with small kids, a wood-burning stove may not be a good idea. Although it can be an efficient source of heat, it can also be a cause of fire incidents. Other than that, even if it does not cause fire, the entire wood burning stove unit is scorching. This may result in skin burns if people are not cautious.
Owning a wood-burning stove requires manual maintenance. This involves you igniting the wood on the fire and adjusting it to your desired temperature. You need to continually feed the stove with wood if you want it to keep burning. This can be laborious. You may need to get up in the middle of the night to check on it as well.
If you are ready to face this type of operation, then go ahead and get yourself a wood-burning stove.
If you are getting a wood-burning stove, be prepared for charcoals and ashes. Cleaning it can be a challenge and a mess, primarily if you have never handled one before. However, there some types of wood-burning stoves that are much easier to clean.
The Benefits of Buying a Wood Burning Stove
Here are some of the benefit you will get when you decide to upgrade or purchase a wood-burning stove:
The most significant advantage that homeowners can get with a wood-burning stove is its excellent heating. It efficiently radiates natural heat. It warms faster than vent heaters.
Also, you have plenty of options for wood burning stoves in terms of sizes. This means that it is not difficult to find one that can adequately warm your space.
If you live in a region where it is always cold, you know how high heating bills can be. With a wood-burning stove, you will have a significantly lower energy bill. The only cost that you would incur on it is the initial purchase of the stove, installation, and wood. Aside from that, maintenance is pretty straightforward.
Also, if you live in an area where they are available wood to be used for fire, you will technically not pay any penny for heating.
Whether your wood-burning stove has a cast iron or steel finish, it is deemed to look great in any space. Often, there are even some people who install it simply to get a rustic cabin vibe. Not only is it practical, but it is also aesthetically pleasing.
The emissions from wood-burning stoves are better than those coals, propane, and gas-operated heaters. This is because it produces carbon-neutral byproducts when burning, which does not add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Also, wood-burning stoves are 80% more energy-efficient than open fireplaces. This means that it requires less wood to fuel the fire yet has a better and longer heating output.
The great thing about some wood burning stoves is that they built-in tabletops as well. This means that it can also double as a cooking stove. However, this does require a level of expertise when it comes to manipulating the temperature. But, you can find various recipes that you can easily do on your stovetop.
No Power Interruptions
Some cold areas regularly experience power interruptions. If you happen to live in that kind of space, you will see that the benefit of not using electricity with a wood-burning oven is a lifesaver. It will give you less worry because despite not having power, you are sure that you will be properly warmed.
The Energy Efficiency of Wood Burning Stove
To understand the energy efficiency of a wood-burning stove, let us first learn what the different kinds of efficiencies are. Here are the two types of efficiencies you can find in wood-burning stoves:
This refers to the percentage measure of how efficient a wood-burning device converts to heat. However, this does not show data on the amount of unsealed heat is produced.
This efficiency calculates the percentage of heat produced from burning wood in the room. However, the efficiency rating can be affected by factors such as installation, operation, and moisture.
Generally, the overall efficiency is more reliable because it measures the amount of heat delivered to space. When you look at the wood-burning stove, what you will usually see is their combustion efficiency rather than the overall. This is because the figure tends to be 10 to 20 percent higher than what its overall effectiveness is.
Aside from that, an excellent way to identify whether your wood-burning stove is energy efficient is by looking for an EPA certification. You can find this on the stove itself or the instruction manual. This certification verifies that the unit adheres to clean air standards. You could also check their official website for the list of models that follows their rules.
Most wood-burning stoves that are made before the 1990s are less efficient and require more fuel to heat. Also, they tend to produce toxic particles that are not good for the body and the environment. EPA certified wood-burning appliances are far more energy-efficient, safe for the environment and the human body.
Here are the advantages of getting an EPA-Certified stove:
- 50% more energy-efficient than those that do not have the certification.
- It requires ⅓ lesser fuel for the same quality of heat.
- Decrease the risk of chimney fires and creosote build-up
- Lessen indoor and outdoor smoke pollution.
Wood Burning Stove Installation
The installation of wood-burning stoves can be different in each case. Various models, house, and location requires other additional steps. But, here is a general overview of the steps on how to install a wood-burning stove:
Installing a wood-burning stove can be considered as a significant home modification. This is why you have to obtain the appropriate clearance from your local government and safety departments.
Also, if you are renting the place where you are planning to install the stove, it is a good idea that you first obtain written consent from your landlord.
Place non-combustible pads on the floor and heat shields on walls where your stove will be located.
A non-combustible floor pad is made of concrete, ceramic tiles, and bricks. This is a safety measure that you have to take to avoid any stray sparks from igniting into a fire. Aside from that, different states have different requirements for how big your pads and shields should be. So, it would be wise to check out those specifications first before installing your stove.
Put the stove on top of your non-combustible pad.
If you have already done the steps above, you are now ready to place your stove in its intended location. When doing this, it is good to have extra hands with you. Wood burning stoves are made out of steel or cast iron, which is why they can be extremely heavy.
Attach the chimney.
The next thing that you have to do is to attach the chimney to the stove. Make sure that your chimney has proper ventilation so that sediments and smoke will be efficiently carried out from the house.
If your house does not have a chimney, it is best to hire a professional to install one for you before purchasing a wood-burning stove.
If the steps mentioned above sounds daunting and stressful, you could also opt to hire a professional. Hiring one will ensure that your stove is properly working. They can also provide insights on where is the most appropriate placement of your stove must be. Most of all, they can conduct safety inspections to make sure that your stove will be burning safely.
Installation Tips for Wood Burning Stoves
Installing a wood-burning stove can be challenging as it requires heavy lifting and ensuring safety measures are imposed. However, here are some tips on how to make the installation less complicated.
Have a chimney installed.
Making sure that you have a provision for a chimney is essential even before you buy your wood-burning stove. It must also be near the area where you intend to place your stove so that connecting it will not be that difficult. Aside from that, when connecting the chimney to the stove itself, make sure that there is no leakage to avoid smoke indoors.
Get your friends and family to help.
Placing mats and maneuvering the stop to its designated position can be difficult for one person to do. This is why it would be better to ask for help from a couple of friends or family. This way, you wouldn’t need to pay for extra labor.
Remove possible combustible items near the stove.
When you have already identified where you place your stove, make sure that there are no comestibles in the near vicinity. Doing this ahead will save you time from clearing the vicinity of the stove. Also, this prevents unwanted events such as fire from occurring.
Read the Instruction manual.
Different models of wood-burning stoves have different requirements. This is why it is crucial that you properly read the instruction manual. That way, you will get a clear idea of what you should do and how to handle the installation.
Watch Wood Burning Stove installation video.
Capitalize on the resources provided by the internet. You can search for wood burning stove installation videos online. Sometimes, there will be a result that installs the same unit of your stove, which can significantly make your life a lot easier. All that you have to do is follow this video.
How to Operate a Wood Burning Stove?
Operating a wood-burning stove can be foreign at the beginning, but the more you do it, the more it will become more comfortable for you. Here are the steps on how to operate a wood-burning stove:
Select a type of wood
The first thing that you have to do when operating a wood-burning stove is to prepare the woods. Ideally, they must be drying for at least six months to ensure burning efficiency. Freshly cut timber still contains moisture, which makes it difficult to burn. You can opt for either soft or hardwood. But, a combination of both could also work well.
Fire requires oxygen so that it can burn. Most stoves have control valves that you can open and close. When using this stove, you must initially have the lid open so that the fire will be sustained. Later on, you can adjust it so that the level of fire will be changed as well.
Wood does not quickly burn, so you must use kindlings. It would also work better if you place newspapers on top of it.
Ignite the Fire
You can use a lighter or a match. Make sure that the fire has enough access to oxygen.
Add in some Wood
When the kindlings start burning, you can now add small pieces of wood. Then you can add more wood gradually. Close the doors of the stove so that there will be no smoke in the room. Use the valve control to adjust the strength of the fire.
How Does a Wood Burning Stove Work?
By now, many of you are already aware that wood-burning stoves are efficient sources of heat. However, you may also wonder how exactly does it work? Here is the answer to that.
Wood burning stoves work by converting the heat from the wood fire. That heat then radiates towards space. It has an air feed which you can use to control the oxygen access of the fire.
The kind of material of the stove is also significant in its ability to radiate heat. Materials such as steel and cast iron typically heat up fast and retain heat. This is why in some cases, even if the stove has already lost fire, it can still have a warming effect.
However, unlike electric heaters, there is no even dispersion of heat from a stove. The area closer to it is commonly hotter. This is why it is suggested that users also use fans to circulate the heat evenly in the space.
In terms of emissions, the wood-burning stoves work by sending its smoke up in the air and into the atmosphere. There has been plenty of debates on the eco-friendliness of the wood-burning stove, but one thing for sure, it is better for the environment compared to other gas-powered alternatives.
Which is Better: Modern or Conventional Stoves?
Like any other device, wood-burning stoves have seen several changes throughout the years. Although most of their designs stay the same, there is a considerable difference between the stoves before and after 1990. Let us take a closer look at them:
Conventional stoves can be considered as those that were manufactured before 1990. Before that time, there was not a strict standard when it comes to the quality of wood-burning stoves. This is why, in terms of emission and efficiency, they are very inferior.
Aside from that, most conventional stoves commonly have issues with clogged chimneys. This because the inefficiency in the burning of wood causes soot to accumulate in the chimney. Also, most of them do not have efficient valve controls.
In terms of design, conventional stoves have a beautiful rustic finish. A wood cabin will not feel complete without a wood-burning stove.
Modern stoves have the solutions for the inferiority of conventional stove. Even though the exterior design has remained the same, there has been a significant update when it comes to its interior.
Nowadays, modern stoves have flaps, which can significantly help in cleaning residual ashes. Also, most of them now have valves control that easily adjust the strength of fire.
Another notable thing that modern stoves have are baffles. Baffles are metal surfaces that limit the flow of air towards the chimney. This upgrade also makes the heat box hotter. The baffle does this by reflecting the heat that should have escaped out to the chimney back to the firebox.
In terms of interior design upgrades, modern stoves have an air wash system. This works by drawing fire away from the glass door of your stove. This helps protect the quality of your glass, making the state of fire transparent to you. You can easily recognize if you need to adjust the control or if you need to add more wood. Also, the most modern stove has ash flaps, which make cleaning the wood residues a lot more manageable — no more spillage of ashes when you open the doors.
Modern Stoves are Efficient
Modern stoves have at least 30% more efficient than conventional stoves. This makes the secondary burn of the stove a lot more efficient as well. This means that it requires ⅓ less chop wood for the same quality of fire. It also emits 90% less air pollution.
Also, most manufacturers of wood-burning stoves today have to adhere to specific safety and environmental standards before they are allowed in the market. This regulation place further ensures that they are safe to use and does not cause harm to the environment.
Overall, it is clear that there have been significant changes to the interior design of wood-burning stoves. They are now made to be more efficient and eco-friendly. Their emission is also much safer. Modern wood-burning stoves may have retained the nostalgic design of its predecessors, but it surely has better heating capacity and efficiency.
Frequently asked Questions
Q: What is the best wood burning stove material?
A: The typical materials used for wood-burning ovens are either steel or cast iron. Steel stoves are typically cheaper, while cast iron stoves are heavier but more durable. In terms of which one is better between the two of them, the answer depends on the buyer’s preference.
Q: Are wood-burning stoves safe?
A: the surface of this stove can be hot which can cause injuries. Also, improper usage, installation, and maintenance may result from fire incidents. However, with proper caution and information, wood-burning stoves are generally safe.
Q: Are wood-burning stoves environmentally friendly?
A: wood-burning stove still produces emissions. However, these emissions are carbon-neutral, which means that they do not affect the quality of air in the atmosphere. Furthermore, a wood-burning stove is much more environmentally friendly compared to gas or propane-powered heating.
Q: Are wood-burning stoves expensive?
A: The initial cost of setting up for a wood-burning stove can be a little expensive, especially when you do not have any chimney provisions. However, in terms of operation, you will significantly see that your heating bills are lower.
Q: Does the size of the wood-burning stove matter?
A: Yes, the size matter in terms of its heating ability. The bigger your space is, the bigger your stove should also be.
Q: What is the life span of a wood-burning stove?
A: Some of the best wood-burning stoves that are well maintained usually last for up to 20 years.
The products we have reviewed above are just some of the best wood burning stove models available nowadays and each one of them features the qualities of an excellent wood burning stove.
Wood burning stoves are an excellent source of heat for your home during the cold winter months. It’s cost-efficient, flexible, and more environmentally-friendly as well. They allow you to create a warm and inviting ambiance in your home, in addition to heating it up as well.
Wood burning stoves are indeed investments but it’s definitely a worthwhile one.