Buying and using a wood burning stove is not a simple matter of picking one up at random and expecting it to heat your whole house. While it is a fairly robust and uncomplicated tool, getting the most of out of your stove does involve knowing a bit about your wants and the limitations of your home.
Factors to Consider in your home
1. Size and Layout – consider the floor area of your house, as well as the layout. A standard oven can heat a thousand or so square feet of open space. But having different layouts such as walls, rooms in different levels and drafts and openings for wind currents can be factors in heating a room effectively. Be ready with this information so you can get the best choice for your stove.
2. Local Regulations – know if your community has certain regulations when it comes to using wood burning stoves. They may have seasons where burning may not be allowed, or can only be allowed for certain EPA rated stoves which produce less pollution.
What to look for in a Stove
1. Size – stoves will come in different sizes and will definitely take up space in your home. Get to know the required space of a stove and compare it with the free space you have at home. This way, you won’t end up with a stove you can’t fit inside your room, or through the door for that matter.
2. Rated Heat Capacity – stoves are rated according to their heat capacity, this measures how much heat. You can expect anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 BTU/hr as the rating for standard to larger stoves.
3. Ease of Cleaning – ask for a demonstration of how to maintain and clean your stove. Most simple stoves are easy to clean, but stoves with more features can be a hassle to get soot and gunk off. Also see how easy it is to dispose of the ash from the oven.
4. Pollution Control – not all stoves come with this, and those that do have catalysts will be more expensive for sure. But they will produce less pollution which will mean they may be used in most locations.
5. Modern Amenities – wood burning stoves are fairly simple machines to use. However, there may be modern features which some people will want or need. Automated temperature control and circulated air for heating are just some of the features that modern stoves will have. These come at a price, but can make life a lot easier for those that can afford to have it.
Choosing a wood burning stove depends on a lot of factors. What your home looks like will generally dictate the kind of stove you’ll need for the kind of heat you want. Since you’re looking into spending thousands of dollars in buying and installing one, it does pay to do your homework first before immediately buying one.