There is nothing quite like curling up in front of a wood burning stove and enjoying the warmth it is delivering while you relax in your home.
Once you have decided to add such an attractive and useful feature to your property you will obviously want to ensure that you get the best performance and value for money from your investment.
Stoves can be an excellent energy-efficient way of delivering heat and ambiance to your home so it makes sense to get the lowdown on what features you should be looking for and questions that need to be asked before you make your decision on which stove you want to buy.
Cleaner burning and more efficient
Wood burning stoves have been around for ages but they not only have a timeless elegance about them, they have also benefitted from a modern makeover in terms of fuel options, allowing you to enjoy a new generation of stoves that are cleaner and more efficient.
You will also find that many modern stoves are capable of delivering enough heat to be able to meet the needs of an average modern property.
This new generation of stoves is capable of burning wood and pellets, so bear this in mind when you are discussing the suitability of your chosen stove.
Where you install a stove in your home will make a fundamental difference to how well the heat is distributed.
You can always make use of a stove fan to help circulate and distribute the warm air but it matters where you fit your stove in the first place, so choose a spot where you are going to be able to enjoy it and where it will be able to deliver the heat you are looking for.
It should be remembered that the majority of wood and pellet-burning appliances are primarily space heaters so the obvious thing to do would be to install your stove in a room where you are likely to spend most of your time.
Leave it up to a professional
Installing a wood burning stove correctly and ensuring that it complies will all the current safety regulations is not normally a job that should be done by even someone who is a competent DIY enthusiast.
For the sake of safety and in order to be able to achieve maximum efficiency from your stove it is far better to get a professional opinion on what sort of stove and output is best suited to your requirements and also leave it to a pro to do the installation.
A certified professional will be able to guide you toward the best appliance to heat your home and they will be trained to observe EPA standards and be able to sign off your appliance once it has been properly installed and tested.
Have you considered a masonry heater?
There are a number of different type of stoves available and that includes a masonry heater which is capable of producing more heat and less pollution than any other type of wood or pellet burning appliance.
Masonry stoves are marketed under various different names and you might see one described as a Finnish, Russian, or Siberian stove, although they are basically the same thing.
Masonry heaters come with a firebox, a large masonry mass (often bricks) and feature a long winding smoke channel that is designed to run through the masonry mass.
It is this setup that allows it to absorb the heat generated and then slowly release it over a prolonged period of anywhere between 12 and 20 hours.
The obvious drawback to a masonry heater option is the fact that you are not going to be getting an instant hit of heat in your room, so you have to decide whether you are looking for a stove that heats your home over a prolonged period or if you want a more traditional arrangement that delivers instant heat and ambiance.
If you want the choice of being able to burn different materials in addition to wood it would be a good idea to consider buying a multi-fuel stove.
In addition to being able to burn wood and biomass pellets, a modern stove like this should also be able to burn things like corn, soybeans and a variety of other items.
If you are thinking of getting a multi-fuel stove you will need to get professional advice on how the stove should be vented to cope with these different materials properly.
Finding the right stove shouldn’t be too much of a challenge if you get some professional help with your selection and regarding suitability, but one thing is for sure, you will enjoy the warmth for years to come.
Thomas Doe graduated from Institute of Technology, Carlow with an honorary degree in Mechanical Engineering. Tom set up StoveFanReviews in 2004 after designing stove fans and realizing there was a great potential to make stoves eco-friendlier and be used to a greater potential. He now lives with his wife and 3 children near Nottingham, UK.