Expert Guide: Buying a Wood Stove
If you’re thinking about buying a wood stove, you know there are many benefits to heating with wood, particularly if you have access to free or inexpensive cord wood. In addition to heating with an abundant renewable fuel, you’ll enjoy financial benefits for years to come by reducing your heating costs. Some of these advantages are highlighted in this brief two minute video from Harman.
When buying and installing a wood stove, there are some key factors to take into consideration – things like where you put the stove, whether or not it’s EPA-certified, what brand you buy, and how much maintenance is involved. Here’s what our experts recommend:
Location is Paramount
To benefit most from your wood stove, have it installed in the room where you spend the most time. For many people, that’s a family room or great room, or another room that heats a large area. The more open your home’s floor plan, the better your heating results will be. Keep in mind that some stoves are capable of heating an entire house, while others perform best as zone heaters. Once you decide where to put your stove, consult with your dealer to determine what size stove is best for you. Factors to consider are the climate where you live, square footage of the room or rooms, ceiling height and the number and size of windows in your home.
Go for Performance
The most efficient wood stoves are EPA-certified. The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has stringent standards for testing wood-burning appliances, requiring that they burn clean and expel low amounts of particulates into the outside air. But there’s more to an EPA-certified wood stove … in addition to the environmental benefits, they burn super efficiently, meaning there’s less ash for you to clean up. In addition, the technologies in Harman EPA-certified stoves burn the wood and produce heat for extended periods of time, meaning you make less trips to the wood pile. The same technologies also greatly reduce the accumulation of creosote, a flammable chimney residue.
When buying a wood stove, it’s smart to go with a brand that has a reputation for quality products and expert craftsmanship. It will save you time and money down the road. Well worth the investment, it’s best to choose a wood stove from an established brand like Harman. Many Harman wood stoves feature the company’s exclusive FireDome technology, which produces both primary and secondary combustion, meaning that in addition to burning wood, it re-burns the smoke and exhaust. And because it’s non-catalytic, the system does not degrade in performance over time.
Be Aware of Maintenance
As you likely know, wood stoves require some maintenance to keep them running their best. In addition to periodic ash removal, be ready to take the following steps to ensure your stove operates safely and efficiently:
- Annual chimney cleaning is a must. A professional chimney sweep will eliminate any potential creosote buildup, look for cracks, leaks, warping, baffle gaps, and other obstructions that could lead to chimney fires or carbon monoxide intrusions.
- Periodically inspect the door gaskets to make sure the seal remains tight, inspect the stove pipe for corrosion where it connects to the chimney, and check the inside of your stove for cracks in the brick or damaged baffles. If anything needs attention, call your stove dealer, or if you order parts yourself, consult your owner’s manual.
Weigh Your Options
Today there are many models and brands of wood stoves to choose from. And because many stoves manufactured today are up to 85-percent efficient, heating with them is a smart, money saving decision! You can see all the options and find the perfect stove to compliment your home’s décor and your lifestyle. Check them out yourself here.