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Selecting a Wood Stove

When choosing a wood stove or fireplace stove insert you will first need to decide what your needs are. If you want only heat from your stove, then virtually any wood stove could do the job, but you can rule out options that include ovens and large cooktop stoves – you’ll probably want to get the smallest wood stove that can reasonably keep your home heated. Although some manufacturers of wood stoves specify an area that their wood stoves can heat, the most effective way to be sure of the wood stove size you will need is to have a certified installer or other home heating specialist do a complete home heat loss calculation on your house. This will ensure that you will know what energy output level you require in order to keep your home warm and comfortable throughout the winter.

Once you are clear on what you want to do with your wood stove, you will want to read some basic information about stoves and the pollution controls which now exist to dramatically improve the emissions profile of wood burning stoves. You may consider reading about stoves that burn either corn or wood pellets but if you enjoy building a fire in the morning or evening, you may want to stick with cordwood fuel and a wood stove instead.

After thoroughly examining your goals and expectations for your wood stove as well as the specific fuel choices available in your area, it comes down to a matter of personal preference regarding design and decor before selecting which one you will purchase. Fireplace Village offers you the chance to examine many models of wood stoves to give you a better idea of what will fit into your home and budget.

When going through the selection process, pay careful attention to local building codes or construction specifications because it is possible that some of these may pose challenges. Additionally, when considering wood stoves or fireplace stove inserts having a general understanding of proper installation, operation and maintenance will assist in making the proper choice. Some areas will not even issue permits for certain types of wood stove installations, so understanding the rules in your area is an absolute must. In the end your choice will come down to a compromise between aesthetics and practical function, energy efficiency as well as size, flexibility, and environmental friendliness.

Wood stoves today are returning in popularity thanks to more than a decade of research and development by wood stove manufacturers. Porcelain, soapstone and cast iron are a few of the materials that manufacturers are using to create unique and functional products. Wood stoves also come in a medium gloss porcelain enamel finish that allows a wide variety of designer colors. These stoves are an acceptable alternative to fireplaces and have some added features and benefits.

Today, wood burning stoves come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for indoor and outdoor installations. Antique stoves have enjoyed a rebirth in popularity due to their low cost and stylish designs. These burn wood more efficiently and cleanly than traditional types of stoves. In fact, most certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and fireplace inserts developed even as early as the 1990s can provide a near smokeless burn, producing maximum heat while using less firewood. U.S. EPA standards in the 1990s have ensured that modern wood stoves produce less than 7.5 grams of smoke per hour, which is more than five times less than the smoke emitted by most wood stoves in the 1970s and 1980s.
Wood stoves provide a host of benefits:

* They can be a cost-effective heating system in the cold months.
* They offer independence and security when the power goes out.
* Firewood for heating wood stoves, wood pellet stoves and fireplace stove inserts is readily available in most communities. Wood is our most abundant renewable energy resource. Wood is a carbon neutral renewable energy source.
* They add a touch of old-world design elegance to any setting.

Deciding on the perfect wood burning stove for your needs can be a little daunting with so many models on the market. From pellet fireplace inserts to 1830’s style antique, to the new soapstone wood stoves, there is a much wider range of wood stoves from which to select than were available to previous generations. And the best part is that these new certified wood stoves and inserts are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Here is a list of items to consider when purchasing
a wood stove:

* Type and Style – Consider the purpose; Would you like a classic ‘pot bellied’ stove in your living room, or would you like a stove to both heat and aid in cooking in the kitchen? Do you have a supply of firewood, or is a gas stove more realistic? Gas stoves may give you the visual enjoyment of gas fireplaces.
* Stove Materials – Wood stoves are made from cast iron, porcelain or soapstone. Each wood stove material offers unique benefits and limitations.
* Size – The key to finding the right stove is determining both the best size for your home and the amount of heat it will create. Heat from a gas stove or wood stove is measured in BTUs.
* Location – Depending upon the model of the wood stove and the surrounding material, they can be installed as little as six inches from a wall. Identify the proper placement of a wood stove since that will impact its heating range.
* Venting – While wood stoves may be vented through the wall of a house, most choices for wood stove venting include an existing chimney or a high-tech stove pipe.
* Features – A variety of features are available in wood stoves depending on your needs. Hidden hinges, self-cleaning glass, reversible flues, gold and silver plated accents, porcelain fixtures, heat gauges, wall heat shields, and a series of fireplace tools can add extra appeal.
* Installation and Maintenance – The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association recommends a routine inspection plan for your wood or gas stove. Have an installation professional talk to you about the risks and costs of installing your wood stove. Wood stoves and chimney flues should be inspected annually or semi-annually depending upon how much you burn your wood stove.
* Fuel and Other Costs – Research the cost of firewood delivery as well as installation, chimney maintenance, annual checkups, and safety inspections for your wood stove.

Since 1972, Fireplace Village New Hampshire has been a proud retailer of wood stoves, fireplaces, gas stoves, fireplace inserts and other hearth products. View more fireplace inserts products and photos. For more information or resources visit FireplaceVillage.net.