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Benefits and types of wood stoves

Benefits and types of wood stoves

A wood stove or a wood-burning stove is a heating or cooking device that is capable of burning wood fuel. It can be placed inside or outside your home, depending on its size and function. When compared to other fossil fuel-powered stoves, wood stoves release relatively lesser carbon emissions. They are also a cheaper alternative to electric stoves and are perfect for heating smaller homes. There are several reasons why wood stoves are popular.

Benefits of wood stoves

  • Cost-effectiveness
    Since wood is cheaper than oil or electricity, having a wood-burning stove is a cost-effective option. You can reap more benefits of having one if you utilize strategic zoning practices in your home, such as placing the stove in areas that can transmit heat better.
  • Convenient placement
    One of the biggest advantages of using a wood stove is that it can be placed in any area with proper ventilation. Families can make use of multiple smaller stoves instead of a centralized heating system to keep their homes warm. However, some localities may have official installation and inspection requirements that homeowners must meet before setting up their wood stoves.
  • Exceptional heating
    Wood stoves make use of radiant heating to warm up your home. This means that the heat expands within a specific radius, making it more efficient than an electric heater that blows hot air inside the room. Radiant heating is particularly useful when you want just a small part of the room to be warmed up for your comfort, instead of the entire room.
  • No fear of power outages
    Power cuts, particularly in winters can be stressful to deal with. Having a wood stove eases these worries, as these stoves keep your home warm and toasty even without an electricity supply.
  • Carbon neutral
    Using wood as a fuel is considered carbon neutral, which means, it does not increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere like other fossil fuels do. This makes it an environmentally friendly option. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) also has certifications for emission standards and compliance guidelines to make wood stoves safer and more sustainable.
  • Useful for cooking
    Some models of wooden stoves can also be used for cooking. If you find the right one that works for you, you can even replace your gas stove with a wood stove to save fuel and money.
  • Enhanced interior design
    Depending on the style of your home, wooden stoves can help you elevate the look of your interiors. They impart a classic, timeless finish to any room they are placed in.

Depending on whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor wooden stove, there are several things to keep in mind. For indoor wooden stoves, it is important to have safe ventilation practices in your home. This includes a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, chimney, stovepipe, and protection for your wall and floors. Test your carbon monoxide detector regularly and replace the batteries two times a year.

Types of wood stoves
Stoves can be made from different types of materials. The material tends to impact their cost and upkeep. Most commonly, these stoves are made from cast iron, steel wood, or soapstone. Depending on their burn system, wood stoves can be categorized into two distinct categories – catalytic and non-catalytic stoves.

  • Catalytic stoves
    Catalytic stoves contain a honey-comb-shaped component that burns the gasses and particles from the wood inside the stove. This part is made of precious metals such as palladium or platinum, which significantly hikes the price for these devices. This creates more heat and results in fewer emissions, making them a popular choice among environmentally conscious users. However, it can be more expensive in comparison to non-catalytic stoves and require periodic inspections and maintenance.
  • Non-catalytic stoves
    These stoves are comparatively cheaper than catalytic ones, but still require regular inspection and maintenance to continue functioning optimally. They may also cause more emissions as compared to catalytic stoves.

Maintenance of a wood stove generally involves regular chimney sweeping to prevent creosote buildup and for safe removal and disposal of ashes from the wood stove itself. While it is safe for you to carry out some of these maintenance activities at home regularly, having professional inspections annually can help you keep your devices working in top-notch condition.

Various service providers offer maintenance for your wood stoves. Companies such as Blue Mountain Stove Service, Northeast Wood Stove & Fireplace, Jiminy Chimney Masonry & Repair, Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps, and Alpine Stoves & Chimney Service render their services to help you keep your wood stove functioning optimally in different parts of the country. Some of them also have wood stoves for sale and can guide you through the stove buying, clearance, and installation process.