As heating bills continue to rise, many homeowners have become stove loyalists, as an efficient way to heat their home at a reduced cost. Many wood-burning stoves are timeless in their beauty, and provide a unique look to the interior of the home. With a large variety of stoves available, homeowners can select the proper design and size that will meet all their heating needs.


Choosing the Size


The initial step in getting the right stove for your house is determining exactly how it will be used. You need to decide if you will be heating the entire house, or just warming up a small area in a room. If you choose to warm the air throughout the home, you will need to measure the interior of the house, so you can select a wood stove that will provide all the BTUs needed to keep warm to the cold winter months.

Wood Stove Materials


There are a variety of wood stove materials available, used to fabricate the housing. These materials include soapstone, steel, and cast iron. Each one adds its own beauty and functionality.

Soapstone


As a beautiful dense material, soapstone is a natural material that is known for its high "specific heat" (defined as the stove material's capability to absorb heat). Soapstone has the ability to store over twice the heat as steel or cast iron. Quality crafted soapstone wood stoves emit heat evenly, and hold on to warmth once the internal fire has cooled down. Due to its heat-emitting properties, soapstone wood stoves will reduce significant the amounts of heat up and cool downs.

Steel


Many beautifully designed stoves are fabricated using steel. However, many steel stoves tend to heat up quickly when the fire is started, and cool down just as quick when the fire is extinguished. Steel stoves are known to cause abrupt heat ups and cool downs.

Cast Iron


Due to its natural properties, cast iron tends to warm up quickly and evenly emits its heat. The dense material holds onto its heat well, long after the fire has expired. It is significantly more responsive than traditional soapstone or steel stoves.

Rating Its Efficiency


Each quality-made heat stove will have an EPA and UL rating to determine its efficiency. The efficiency ratings of non-catalytic and catalytic stoves are noticeably different, due to the small particles that escape through the chimney.

Once you have determined the materials, efficiency rating, size and beauty, selecting the right stove for your house should be a simple decision.