How to Buy Wood Burning Stoves

Nothing beats the crackling sound of a wood burning stove on a cold winter evening. Well that’s not true, the heat from your wood burning stove is awesome as well. When it comes time to purchase a wood burning stove you should consider these facts:

  • How much of my home do I want to heat
  • BTU’s and exactly what they mean
  • Efficiency rating and why is this important
  • Emission ratings
  • Tax Rebate on Select Stoves

A lot of people who have never used a wood burning stove don’t realize it will not heat the entire home useless you have a very simply house plan. In fact our first home did not heat well at all in our bedrooms because the flow of air in the home went from our living room to the kitchen and out the garage door. Never did the heat flow down the halls into our bedrooms.

With that said, heat pumps heat the entire home and wood burning stoves will heat certain areas of the home. Yes, the heat will trickle to other areas but the temperature difference can be 10 degrees.

BTU’s are short for british thermal units and that translates into the higher the BTU’s the more heat it will produce and the more square footage it will heat. BTU’s in the 40,000 range will heat around 1200 sq ft. and units in the 80,000 range can heat areas in the range of 2100 sq. ft. Pick the wood stove that can safely heat the area you want heated.

Efficiency rating is based on the stoves ability to take the fuel you add and turn it into usable heat. Wood stoves range from 70% to 80+. Moral of this story: the higher the efficiency rating the less wood you will burn.

Emissions rating is based on how many grams of particulate enter the atmosphere per hour. Production of wood stoves in the 70’s ranged in the 70-80 grams per hour. Today’s wood stoves are as low as 2.4 gm/ per hour. Big difference!

Tax Credits: this year 2009 and next year you can get up to $1500 tax credit on your income tax if you purchase select wood burning stoves. Each manufacturer is prominently displaying the wood stoves that meet the tax credit. Bottom line you can get 30% back on your income tax and the most is $1500.

During your research make sure that the prices you find are for complete stoves. Some places do not include the price of railing, doors and other basic things to make your wood stove work.

One accessory you shouldn’t leave the store without is a fan. This fan will move the heat that builds up on the top of the stove into other rooms. This is one incredible source of moving heat into rooms that normally get the direct heat from your wood stove.

If you are planning on installing the wood stove on your own, make sure and pick up the local regulations in your area. Learn what type of stove pipe they require, placement of wood stove away from walls, etc. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how close you can place your wood stove to current walls in your home.