When it comes to purchasing a wood stove for your home, there are three basic types you can choose from: box stoves, air-tight stoves, or pellet burners. There are pros and cons to each type, with people having their own personal preferences. Although box stoves do not burn as efficiently, because they are not air-tight, they are the least expensive option. Unfortunately, quality often suffers as a result of the price. Air-tight stoves are recommended for highest efficiency, but their price tags will reflect their high quality. Pellet stoves have recently come into popular use. They give out steady, even heat, but the controls that operate them will not work if the power goes out.
Since there are serious negatives when it comes to box stoves and pellet burners, you may want to concentrate on the purchase of an air-tight wood stove. These models feature a sealed firebox and a door that fits snugly. The air-intake damper is either manually or thermostatically controlled. This allows air to circulate around the firebox and controls the rate at which fuel is being consumed. Air-tight stoves burn for long periods of time without requiring owner attention. Unfortunately, since the stove burns slowly, the chimney and pipes can become heavily covered with creosote which will need to be manually cleaned away with a soot remover or a chimney brush.
You can purchase stoves which are air-tight which have many different finishes. What you need to realize is that the finish of the stove can make it more or less efficient to operate. The best coating is a flat black finish which causes the stove to yield 90 – 98% usable heat. Flat paints and enamels will radiate between 70 and 90% of their heat, while stoves with shiny surfaces will give you efficiencies of less than 60%, with light colored stoves being at the bottom of the charts. This is a fact that many homeowners are unaware of, but it will definitely affect the effectiveness of your wood stove.
An air-tight wood stove is an excellent choice for homeowners who are looking to lower their heating bills significantly. With a stove like this, you will be able to shut down the fire by closing the damper, but the hot gases will stay in the stove much longer and continue to heat the air in your home. This can be a perfect solution for overnight heating.