Although it’s often associated with many risks and dangers, fire sometimes has a beautiful symbolism. Namely, for many, it represents the hearth because it embodies the warmth of the home and family peace and harmony. Also, fireplaces as a way of heating are still rooted in the people; they just took on a slightly more modern form.
All of the above can be why many homeowners decide on wood stoves made of cast iron, which are functional and decorative. They are a popular way to heat your home, which is usually more efficient than other forms of heating. In addition, these furnaces burn wood and emit very little smoke, so they’ll cut energy costs and pollution.
After knowing all the benefits of these furnaces, you’ve probably decided to get one. But which one to choose? Well, that can be a daunting task, as so many models are on the market. Luckily, you can follow these guidelines and find the best wood stove for your needs.
Let’s start with a simple one – fuel type. Sure, it’s wood. But you probably didn’t know about the different types used for combustion. That’s how you get wood-only, pellet, and multi-fuel furnaces. Of course, choosing one of these depends on the fuel availability and your budget.
The right fuel for your wood stove can make the difference between saving money and comfort. Furnaces designed to burn only wood are simple to use and maintain, while pellet-burning models need an electric outlet.
For example, you can run on two to five cords of lumber or pellets for about five to ten hours. And with proper inserts, wood stoves can become multi-fuel models in no time, meaning you can add some coal and thus achieve stable heating temperatures for a longer time.
Standalone or Insert
Standalone or insert models are another thing to consider when buying this stove. They are both made of cast iron and steel and have a very attractive look. They can also help keep your home warm with their clean-burning technology and eco-friendly fuel.
Freestanding heaters are a great choice if you want a wood-burning fireplace without the hassle of rearranging your walls and installing inserts. Instead, you can place them anywhere and thus find the best location for efficient heating. On the other hand, inserts can only go into the existing fireplace opening.
Standalone furnaces have a higher capacity than insert models, so they are more effective for heating your home. They also come with ash pans, making it easier to dump ashes after use. But the problem can be the space they can take up and the chimney or exhaust system you must install. That increases the cost of installing a wood stove.
Size and Heating Efficiency
Size and burning efficiency are the most important factors when deciding on a wood stove for your home. Ideally, this heating unit should be able to warm your room sufficiently. That means no overheating because of the too-big furnace or freezing out because you choose an undersized model.
A small furnace can heat a small room, while a large stove can provide heat for an entire house. Also, if your home has many openings, you’ll need a larger stove. Many factors affect determining the right furnace size, so it’s probably best to consult a local expert.
But you can do a simple calculation on your own by following the next guideline:
The efficiency rating of wood stoves shows how good they are at transferring heat. Furnaces with high heat transfer rates are always an excellent choice for heating. In general, they should offer at least 70% efficiency. Models with higher efficiency are more likely to burn cleaner and emit fewer pollutants.
Wood stoves for home use are now required by EPA to meet certain standards, like emitting no more than 2.5 grams of carbon per hour. This criterion makes them EPA-certified, so they don’t pollute the environment.
EPA efficiency numbers are an excellent guide, as these standards require manufacturers to provide efficiency information to consumers. Yet, many brands just don’t disclose this info. Also, some companies make false claims and boost their efficiency numbers to sell more stoves.
Find a Good Dealer
The final tip on buying wood stoves is to find a good dealer. Good dealers will do everything possible to meet your needs and expectations. They don’t want you to be unhappy with your stove. Instead, they’ll go the extra mile to make you happy with your purchase. They’ll even recommend professional installers to spare you this trouble. But if you’re into DIY installation, here’s how to do it.
If you want to spend a winter in a warm and cozy home, it’s about time to buy a wood stove. After doing a thorough research and checking the listed items, you can choose the one that suits your needs and budget.