You are going to install an outdoor wood stove. Now you need to figure out which stove is going to serve you the best. Of the many different styles that are available, which one will be the best for you?
Outdoor wood burning stoves can be very different. Do not assume that they are all the same. The materials that they are made of can vary greatly. Some are made of regular steel plate. Some are boiler steel. Some may be stainless steel. Each of the different materials has its advantages. Each different material will affect the cost of the stove and the longevity of the stove. As with most anything, when you use a cheaper material it will usually mean that the longevity will also be less.
What type of fuel do you want to use? Are you sure that you will only burn wood, or will you want to burn coal at some point in time? If you will need to bank a fire for a couple of days, then you may want the coal option. Make sure that the stove that you purchase will also handle the coal. Coal will usually require special grates and air intake. The grates need to handle the extra heat from the coal and the air must enter the combustion chamber differently to burn coal.
What size pieces of wood do you want to handle? If you don’t mind lugging huge logs, then you will want a wood stove that will handle large long pieces. This will save time cutting the wood, but will make you pay later and also limit who can load your stove.
The upside is that these big logs will burn a long, long, time. Smaller pieces may take more time to cut, be easier to load and burn up faster. You need to figure out what is the best trade off for you.
How much water do you want the stove to hold? More water may not always be better. If you can use lower temperature, water than you may want to consider a large volume stove so that you may only have to fire it every couple of days. If you need to have high temperature water all the time then the large volume may not be beneficial to you. A larger stove may sound better, but if your stove never burns hot, then the creosote will continue to build up, possibly causing a flare up, and definitely insulating the firebox from the water and decreasing the efficiency of the stove.
Give yourself the time to consider all the options that you have a weigh out which will serve you the best before you make a commitment to buy a new wood burning stove.