There are a few things to be aware of when choosing an efficient wood stove. Chimney Sweeps of America in Denver offers this great resource so you’ll have an idea what to be on the lookout for. A wood stove is a great, efficient way to heat your home, but choosing the right unit is key.
Check the Emissions
Wood stoves have been significantly improved upon since their introduction years ago as a better alternative to indoor fireplaces. Modern wood stoves require less firewood to heat the same square footage, produce very little ash and almost no smoke.
For comparison, newer EPA certified stoves have to meet the current 4.5 grams or less of smoke per hour standard, but older stoves give off anywhere from 15-30 grams per hour. When choosing an efficient wood stove, keep in mind that the EPA is planning to lower their emissions standard to 2 grams per hour in 2020. You’ll want to consider buying a stove that meets this emissions standard, particularly if you plan to sell your home in the next few years.
Choose a Stove Type
There are two categories of wood stoves, catalytic and non-catalytic. They are both effective in meeting EPA emissions standard but have slight performance differences. Non-catalytic stoves are simpler and therefore are more common. Catalytic stoves require a stricter maintenance regimen but are favored in many of the popular high-end stoves.
How Big of a Stove?
A critical aspect when choosing an efficient wood stove is size. When talking to professionals about what size stove to get, be sure to bring not only the square footage of the space to be heated but also the type of home. Newer, more energy efficient homes (or older homes to which the relevant improvements have been made) require a smaller stove to heat the same amount of space as an older, more drafty home. Also, keep in mind our Colorado climate. With your home in a colder area, you may need a bigger wood stove to heat the same amount of space.
To give you a rough idea, smaller stoves are generally good for zone heating, warming just a portion of a larger home or a small cottage. A medium size stove is good for either a small home or an energy efficient medium sized home. The largest sizes of wood stoves are ideal for large homes with open floor plans or for older, less energy efficient homes.
You can check out the EPA’s list of certified stoves to help when you are choosing an efficient wood stove. However, no amount of research can replace the expertise offered by experienced professionals, such as the Chimney Sweeps of America. We can provide answers to questions you don’t even know to ask. If you are thinking about installing a new wood stove (or upgrading your current unit), you’re welcome to give us a call. We can help you pick out the perfect unit to meet your needs, fit your home and appease your budget.