There are many styles and models of wood stoves on the market today. While it allows us to choose from a wide range of products, some people may get to the store and become more confused than ever. The different terminologies that also come with buying the stove, like fireplace insert and hearth mount, may spin your head if you are a first-time buyer.
To make things a bit easier for you, we have curated this guide to choosing the right wood stove. This will ensure that you understand your options and avoid making a wrong purchase. A warm and cozy winter coupled with a beautiful fireplace is the outcome of choosing the right stove. You may also want to visit this website to find out how to stay healthy during winter.
Wood Stoves Buying Guide
The following tips will help you select the type of wood stove to buy:
1. Materials Used in Making the Unit
Manufacturers use soapstone, cast iron, or steel to make wood stoves.
This material retains heat because of its dense nature. Some people regard it as the best stove material because it will continue to supply heat even after you put out the fire.
Cast iron comes in different styles and options because the manufacturers pour the material into molds. Some models have a finishing of porcelain gloss, making them appear smooth and beautiful. This material is also easy to maintain.
Here, steel plates are bent to take the shape of fireboxes, making them appear clean and simple. Stoves made from this material are cheap because they do not cost much to manufacture.
2. The Type of Hearth Protection
Manufacturers usually provide guidelines for the different models they produce. The essence is for you to know what the hearth pad is made of, so you and your family can be protected from fire hazards. The hearth pad may be made of cement board, ceramic tile, or stone tile. Also, when considering the hearth protection, you can choose either thermal or ember protection.
In this form of protection, R-value insulated materials are used. A material that has a high R-value offers excellent heat resistance, making it a good thermal insulator.
It uses non-combustible materials. If embers fall from the stove when you are loading firewood, the materials will protect your floor. You can visit https://www.homequestionsanswered.com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-fireplace-hearth.htm to know how to choose a hearth.
3. The Size of the Stove
Manufacturers sell large, medium, and small units. A large unit allows you to add more wood, which means you will have more burn time compared to a small unit. For instance, if you reside where winters are extremely cold and need heat all through the night, a medium or small unit may be unsuitable.
In addition to the size of the unit, you need to consider the space you plan to heat. Generally, small units can heat 600 to 1000 square feet. Medium units can heat 800 to 2000 square feet while large units can heat 800 to 3000 square feet. While these figures seem to be a wide square footage range, the efficiency of each unit depends on the insulation in your home and how the heat circulates.
4. Permits and Insurance
Almost all state laws require homeowners to obtain a permit before installing a wood stove. This may also require an inspection and a fee to get the permit. Ensure you check the county or city building department to get the exact details.
Furthermore, some insurance companies do not cover wood stoves while others are happy to insure a second heat source. Also, some insurance requires a professional to install the unit, which means it will cost you more than when you do it yourself.
5. The Unit’s Efficiency
A high-efficiency unit means you will spend less money on firewood, chopping, as well as hauling the wood. Older models waste wood and are quite inefficient. You can lookout for a wood pellet stove that uses heavily compresses recycled materials as fuel. The pellets are dry and burn cleaner and hotter compared to other wood types.
Also, wood pellets emit very little pollutants and many environmentalists regard them as carbon neutral. They do not cost much and you can buy just the quantity you want instead of a whole bunch of firewood. The pellet stove is usually small and you can easily store the pellet bags.
Additionally, the wood pellet stove is not difficult to operate as you only need to load the pellets and ignite the flame. Also, depending on the size of the hopper, you may load it once daily. The unit produces less smoke because there is a box that contains the fire within the unit. As a result, the exterior of your unit will not heat up.
This guide provided tips for choosing wood stoves, so you won’t get confused when you finally decide to buy one. Ensure you familiarize yourself with the different materials, the hearth protection, unit size, and square footage of your space. Some locations require permits; ensure you obtain the necessary clearance before installing a unit. Finally, do not forget to consider the efficiency of the unit as this ensures that you spend less money and have access to clean heat.