This article will cover the basics of installing a wood burning stove providing the pros and cons of owning one. Also known as wood burners, they are very similar to open fireplaces with the exception that they are fully enclosed.
Benjamin Franklin designed the Franklin Stove almost 250 years ago which is the prototype for today’s modern design.
The enclosure design of wood stoves is more efficient than open hearth fires and disperses smoke outside via a stovepipe. They are available in a wide array of basic design choices. One other type of wood burning unit is fireplaces insert which are also known as fireboxes or cassette fires.
This type of design encloses a fireplace behind a glass panel which improves cleanliness, efficiency and safety. Another type of wood burning stove is the traditional stand alone stove connected to a stove pipe venting to the outside. They are cheaper than basic versions and can be partially sealed. A wood pellet stove is state of the art for wood burning components. This type of stove uses manufactured pellets of uniform size which are made of compressed waste sawdust. Another alternative is using size graded wood chips.
Wood pellet stoves are fitted with automatic fuel feed hoppers connected to an electronic control system which makes them easy to clean.
You may wonder just how efficient wood stoves can be? Well, first they create the ambiance of traditional fireplaces and also efficiently heat any room. They can also double as boilers or kitchen ranges.
This type of heating unit can cover a range of heating requirements from cooking to providing hot water water. Some of the advantages over a conventional gas, electric or oil heaters are that wood stoves present a much more elegant look. In the end it comes down to budget.
It is much more economical in the long run to use a wood burning stove, not to mention the aesthetics. Also for those concerned with environmental issues can use recyclable bio-fuels such as carbon neutral woody biomass. They also comply with building regulations of modern legislation that governs carbon emissions.
Lastly, you have the added bonus of attracting grants and incentives by installing wood burning stoves. This not only covers domestic heating, but also save the homeowner money, is proven to be ecologically sound and fall under government support.
Are there any disadvantages you may wonder? A few may be the fact that your supply of fuel needs to be delivered versus using the flip of a switch. The entire system needs cleaning annually. Often due to the disadvantage of not living near a reliable source of wood or log pellets a consumer will may not lose some cost advantage due to paying for the transport of wood biofuel.
One other prohibitive cost would be the cost of installing a wood burning stove and adhering to compliance codes for your area. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons.