Buying a Wood Stove

Tips on Buying a Wood Stove for your Home

By Mark J. Donovan

Buying a wood stove can be a complicated process. To begin with, wood stoves come in a variety of shapes and sizes. So first on your checklist, before actually going out and buying a wood stove, is figuring out how much living space you plan on heating with it. Based on the square footage you plan to heat, you can then narrow down your search to appropriately sized wood stoves. Remember too, that you most likely are buying the wood stove for supplemental heat, so you do not necessarily need to buy a wood stove that could theoretically heat your entire home.

The second item you need to consider when buying a wood stove is where you plan to install it.

If it is expected to be located in a main living space, you’ll want to purchase a wood stove that is both functional and attractive. If the wood stove is to be located in a basement then you may be able to go with a less ornate woodstove, but possibly a larger one. Also, you need to consider where wood will be stored and transported to the wood stove. The last thing you want to do is to install a wood stove in a finished living space that requires you walking across a large section of carpet or hardwood flooring to carry firewood to the wood stove.

The third major consideration is how you will vent the wood stove. Will it tie into an existing chimney or will you need to install a new chimney or separate duct work. If you plan to tie it into an existing chimney then you’ll first need to determine if your chimney is sufficient enough in size and draft to support it.

You may want to check with the stove shop and/or your local building inspector before making a decision on what wood stove to buy. The majority of wood stoves have a 6 inch outlet pipe so most 6 or 8 inch chimney flues will be adequate for properly venting a wood burning stove.

Another consideration when buying a wood stove is your budget. Wood stoves can be purchased from as low as a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the size, style and assorted features that the particular wood stove offers. Wood stoves are available in cast iron, or 3/16 or ¼ inch rolled steel.

The type of wood stove is also an important factor. The more basic and older type wood stoves are known as simple updraft wood stoves. The basic operating principle with these types of wood stoves is that there is a negative pressure in the chimney that draws the soot, smoke, and gas from the wood stove up and out the chimney.

The newer and more sophisticated wood stoves are known as air-tight wood stoves. They’ve been around since the early 1990s. With air tight wood stoves there are baffles inside the stove to create a second burning chamber within the wood stove itself. The result is a much more efficient burn of the wood, thus producing more heat and fewer pollutants into the atmosphere.

An air tight wood stove produces only 1/10th of the emissions of a similar sized updraft wood stove, and it is 33% more energy efficient.

Installation of Hood over Wood Stove EBook

This translates into less wood that needs to be cut, split, dried, transported, and burned in the wood stove. Thus, an air-tight wood stove is preferable in every respect, except for price. But even the price is recouped after a few years by not having to burn as much wood.

There are a few other key features to think about when buying a wood stove. For example, how the wood is actually loaded into the stove is an important consideration. My preference is a front loading wood stove. Moreover, the size of the wood that can be loaded into the wood stove is another concern. The larger the pieces of wood that can be loaded into the stove, the less cutting and hauling of it that will be required. Also, if the stove is to be installed into a finished living space you may want to buy a wood stove with a glass front for aesthetics.

For information on Restoring Baseboard Heating Element Covers, see the Restoring Baseboard Heating Element Covers eBook from The Restoring Baseboard Heating Element Covers Ebook provides easy to understand, step-by-step instructions, on how to restore Baseboard Heating Element Covers so that they look new again. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

For information on how to maximize a wood stove’s heating efficiency, see’s Installation of Hood over Wood Stove eBook

For information on how to clean a wood stove pipe, see’s How to Clean a Wood Stove Pipe eBook.

Related Information

Additional Heating and Cooling Resources from

Free Heating and Cooling Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on heating & cooling from one of our pre-screened and licensed HVAC contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your heating & cooling price estimate.