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Wood Heat


The way we heat our home is always changing. Our forefathers predominately had relied on wood and coal stoves to heat their homes, as technology and times changed, more and more people switched to other more convenient petroleum type of fuel that were cleaner and affordable, such as gas or oil.  As the demand keeps rising and supplies keep diminishing, people are once again rediscovering the wood stove as their primary or as a supplemental wood heat source.

The present day high tech wood stove is far superior from their predecessors.  The new EPA certified wood stoves that are available today, not only reduces the particle emissions to comply with the clean air standards set by different state.  The new certified stoves have less smoke polluting the neighbor hood, and consuming up to 50% less wood to heat the same area of your home.  These two factors alone will create a happier neighbor and leave more money in your budget for your family to enjoy life with.

When doing your research for that new wood stove, there are several factors that should be considered. First decide if the new wood stove will be a primary heat source or is to be a supplemental source of heat incase of power outages or is it to heat an area of your home that is not being heated adequately.  Second is the aesthetics value of the stove important for the area you will install the stove in or just want some heat for the least amount of money.  Third, how big of an area will you heat?  The size of the stove is very important in relation to the size of your area to heat.  If you get a stove to large, then the stove will burn to cool to be very inefficient, and you will have excess smoke polluting your neighborhood.  On the flip side if to small, then very difficult to get enough heat to accomplish your goals. 

The location where you want to install the stove must be considered. There are basically three types of wood stove heaters.  If you have an existing open wood fireplace, normally you can find a wood stove insert that the opening can accommodate without sacrificing any additional floor space to install the wood stove insert. If you do not have an open fireplace then it will be necessary to decide on a freestanding wood stove or a build in a wood stove fireplace.

Most people opt for the freestanding stove as it is easier and cheaper to install and can still be pleasing to the eye, and can be located anywhere in the home as long as the chimney can be vented above the roof. The down side is that you will have to allocated and area of your home and rearrange the furniture to accommodate the stove, where as the wood stove fireplace has to be built into the wall and is normally done during new construction or during a remodel project. 

Local building codes have to taken into consideration.  Some stated have more stringent emission standards then other states.  More and more of the manufactures are designing their stoves so that they will meet the toughest standards.  Local building codes will recognize the safety-testing standard that the manufacture has tested his appliance for.  The manufacture will publish in their owner’s manual the minimum clearances, minimum hearth dimensions, any restriction on venting, etc.  It is always a good idea, before you make the final purchase to go to the manufactures web site and down load the owner manual of the stove you are interested in to make sure it will meet your criteria for where you want to locate the stove and meet all local building codes.

Finally you need to have dry seasoned wood available to fuel your stove.  A stove and unseasoned wood are a waste of money.  See our article on preparing your wood fuel.  The goal is to buy the right stove to heat your home for many years to come. 

Additional Articles you may be Interested In:

Wood Stove Fuel