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Basic Introduction to Wood Stoves

Quality Wood StovesVisit your local UFS member hearth store to find a wide selection of quality wood burning stoves. Homeowners looking for the best wood stoves need to look no further than a UFS member store.

° Definition of a wood stove.

A wood stove is a wood-fueled applicance that requires a stove pipe and chimney system for venting.  This appliance is positioned in a room at at the required clearances that the manufacturer will publish in the owner/installation manual. Some models are designed that they can be placed as close as 5 inches from combustibles. Due to requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), new wood stoves available today are eco-friendly with heating efficiencies ranking from 63% to 80%.

° A masonry or metal chimney is required.

When an existing masonry chimney is used to vent a wood stove, it is critical that it has an effective liner.  If a ceramic tile liner is cracked or compromised, a stainless steel liner can be installed.  This new flue liner would typically be the same size as the flue collar on the wood stove.  This will ensure a proper draft.  In the absence of a masonry chimney an insulated, prefabricated stainless chimney can be used.  Normally it’s a rather simple process to install them. Insulated stainless steel chimneys can usually be installed by maintaining two inches or more to any combustibles.

° Wood stoves come in many styles.

Wood stoves are no longer made simply of cast-iron and only cast-iron. Various materials and combinations of materials are now available, such as steel, soapstone and cast iron. Stoves can be purchased in a variety of different colors, styles and designs, including rustic, traditional, contemporary and ultra-modern.

In addition to choosing a stove that fits your décor and life-style, it’s important to consider the quality of the wood stove you choose. Keep in mind that not all wood stoves are created equal. For instance a stove that weighs 500 pounds and has a 3 cubic foot firebox will provide heat for several hours longer than a stove that weighs half as much with a 1.5 cubic foot firebox.

Indications that a wood stove is a product of good workmanship include the thickness of the steel, smooth welds, draft controls that operate smoothly, clean castings and snug doors.  With steel stoves it’s important to have firebricks to help protect the interior of the stove and help retain heat for a longer period of time.

Best Wood Stove° Various accessories are available.

Glass doors on wood burning stoves allow you to see and enjoy the flames of the fire.  Quality wood burning stoves will use ceramic glass.  This glass is stronger and has better heat radiating properties than tempered glass.  With airflow systems “washing” the glass with hot air, sooty deposits can almost be eliminated.

Other helpful features available on wood stoves include blowers, cook-tops, rear heat shields an decorative doors.  Some wood stoves come equipped with convienent ash pans.

° Top maintenance concerns.

The most frequent type of maintenance required on a wood stove is ash removal. It’s essential to understand the potential dangers involved with mishandling ashes. Basically, they should be placed in a tightly closing steel container and kept away from combustibles after removal. There should be an understanding about the way embers can re-ignite for many days after lying dormant, if they are suddenly exposed to air.

For wood stoves to operate properly routine ash removal is important.

The most dangerous aspect of wood stoves is the buildup of creosote in the chimney. Annual inspection and cleaning the chimney is highly recommended.  Creosote deposits in dirty chimney are flammable.  Burning dry and seasoned wood is critical for efficient and effective results.

Stop by your local UFS member hearth store to find the best selection of quality wood stoves.

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