Keeping your home heated cost effectively can often be overlooked in favor of more expensive options. The best wood stoves on the market tend to achieve warmth on a low budget, making it a go to choice for many. The difficulty many consumers come across is buying a log burner that’s right for their needs. Choices between the different styles, options, and specifications can often lead to confusion. We aim to remedy this with helpful buying guides and ratings.
When shopping for some great units, I find it easier to be presented with easily digestible information that enables users to make sense of the pro’s and con’s of each product. That’s why we have compiled our own list below and provided details on what to look out for.
Top 7 wood furnaces
|US Stove APS1100B Plate Steel Pedestal Heater||$$$$||7/10|
|Drolet Savannnah High-Efficiency||$$$||6/10|
|Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Wood Burning Stove||$$$$||8/10|
|Vogelzang TR009 Performer EPA||$$$$||8/10|
|Vogelzang TR001 Defender EPA||$$$||8/10|
|Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa with Blower||$$$||7/10|
|England's Stove Works||$$$$||5/10|
The basics behind good wood stove furnaces
In an ideal world, finding a several small wood burning stoves would be easy. However, with difficulties arising when choosing models in specific price ranges, along with the style they are designed in, be it modern or antique, it’s not so simple.
In terms of materials used to design log stoves, you will find plenty that are made from cast iron. Metal being the natural choice for manufacturers because they are fantastic in keeping a basic layer of heat in, due to reflection. What you will often find, is that they come with fire bricks to improve insulation. The downside of that is they can become rather heavy when they’re assembled. Both of these things tend to lead to a excellent level of heat output.
For any fire to burn brightly, it needs a good amount of oxygen available. Many modern designs have special systems or specs in place to help it achieve a consistent flow of air to keep the fire burning, along with the heat. This air washing feature is imperative if you’re a person living in a cold environment.
A popular, but sometimes overlooked feature in top rated wood stoves is the aesthetics as a whole. Usually, they come with doors that provide a window to look in and see the flames burning. However, this is not always the case. You can get some that don’t provide windows that are ideal for rooms that are not being lived in, for example the basement. If that’s the sort of room you’re looking to set it up in, then the window won’t make a difference to you either way. We believe the top rated and best looking options are the ones that allow a pale flicker of colors from the embers to light the room.
With anything that burns, it’s important that the log burning stoves come equipped with a ash tray, or shelf to collect the burnt substance, and ensure it’s easy to clean and/or empty after use. The last thing you need is ash over the carpets and furniture in the house.
Looking at the best wood heaters, what are the potential advantages?
There are plenty of advantages to be found when buying one of these products. The main advantage we believe is how cost effective heating a house can be when compared to more traditional options such as boilers. All you really need is a good burner and some logs to burn. In the long run, it can be one third of the price more traditional heating options provide. So if you’re looking to make savings from the households output, this could definitely be used to your benefit. Ideally, if your in the climate that requires heating often, you will most likely save enough on electricity or gas bills to allow it to pay for itself over the course of a year.
It can look fantastic. Well, the wood burners with ceramic doors do anyway. The type of lighting it gives to a dimly lit room on a cold winter night, can really spruce up the look and feel of most rooms. The soft glow of the fire can really make it feel like a home. And yet, the aesthetics can really be overlooked in favor of an insert, or some other form of space heater that doesn’t quite fit the decor of the room.
Naturally, some methods of heating an fail. What you don’t want to happen is be stuck on a cold night without any form of warmth. That is the great thing though. A good product will provide heat regardless of if the electricity is out or the boiler is broken. Just make sure your supplies of fuel are topped up, and you won’t have any problems.
Some people have concerns on the length of time firewood is able to burn for. This mostly depends mostly on the size of wood your unit can accommodate. Something in the eighteen inch range will give you well over 5 hours, which is often long enough to burn through the coldest periods of the night.
Finding a good fit : Easy if you know what to look for
When you keep in mind all the points outlined previously. The process of finding a great wood burning heater is actually quite simple. Lets have a look at a few key things before you come to any buying conclusion.
BTU output – By definition, this means the overall ability it has to heat a home. The higher BTU figure, the larger the space it will heat effectively. Most modern design offer a decent BTU level.
Particles – If you have ever heated or burned before, you will be aware that particles are part of the package that comes with it. Depending on your location, you may have restrictions on how much, or how heavily you can burn.
Tax credits – Now, some of you will be aware that these can come with an efficiency percentage. There is a barrier set at 75% that will enable you to claim tax credits due to it meeting EPA regulations. The good news is, the majority of options do currently meet 75 percent, but it’s something to keep in mind when shopping.
Wood burning furnace prices – The general consensus
Like most things, you get three tiers of prices. The higher end, along with the mid tier, and low budget options. Each carry their own advantages, as well as drawbacks.
A top tier, brand new model could set you back for over $2500. If you don’t have that kind of cash to splash (which I suspect, many won’t), you will want to have a look at cheaper variants, that provide a similar level of heating.
Many of the mid tier options fall into the $1500 range give or take $500 bucks. These are popular options, and certainly get the job done with large heating areas, and effective air flow systems. A lot of this depends on the type of insulation as well as build quality.
Some of the best wood burner stoves I have come across tend to fall into the lower priced category. Not because they can match them spec for spec, but because they can certainly do a excellent job in heating a mid to smaller sized home. Remember, it does not all come down to price. You will want to keep an eye out on the design, BTU output, and several other features that I have covered above.
Our wood stove reviews
Pleasant Hearth 2,200 Square Feet Wood Burning Stove – The name gives away the heating output. It will effectively heat up to 2,200 square feet, which is pretty impressive. There are things that effect that output such as walls, but for the most part, this is a good burner that will fit a six inch pipe. There are also small and medium options of the same product if you feel the large is too much.
It’s also equipped with a variable speed blower that can be used to control the air flow over the fire, and thus, the heat.
It will allow logs of up to 20 inches to be burned, which can also mean they can last for up to eight hours, which is more than enough for what we believe the majority of consumers are looking for.
Vogelzang TR009 Performer EPA – provides a heating radius of up to 2,200 feet, and with a cast iron door, one can expect it to be insulated well and create a consistent heat output with the ability to burn for periods as long as twelve hours.
Stability guaranteed thanks to its plate steel design, and a strong, sturdy pedestal.
It has an impressive BTU rating of 119,000 and surpasses the 75% efficiency barrier.
When assembled it measures at 26 by 26.5 by 33 inches.
Drolet Savannnah High-Efficiency – Unlike the previous two mentioned, it has a lower heating output level at 1,500 feet. However, there is certainly a noticeable price difference. This particular home fire stove is quite a bit more affordable than several others we have reviewed.
Don’t let price be an indicator of quality though, it still comes with a variable speed air blower, an ash tray, and a modern design that allows people to see the fire easily.
The firebox itself is lined with firebricks to help increase the efficiency percentage overall.
US Stove APS1100B Plate Steel Pedestal Heater – A great mid range option that offers some fantastic features for the price.
For starters a heat range of 700 to 1,100 square feet will keep plenty of rooms in the house warm. Then you have the matter of it having a decent capacity inside the firebox, even having the capacity to use sixteen inch logs for a longer burn.
Meets the 75% efficiency mark, qualifying you for federal tax credits and has a BTU figure of 67,000. An excellent option for those working with a limited budget.
Vogelzang TR001 Defender EPA – What you have here is a low cost model that holds it own against many found inside the medium tier category.
There are many positive features and benefits to be found within its spec list including an excellent heat output that heats up to 1,200 square feet, plus the fire box is large enough to ensure one fueling burns for several hours.
Whats more its got a unique design feature that you don’t find in many fire burning stoves. And that’s the adjustable legs at the base.
The cast iron door has a great little window in order to watch the flames flicker, and the materials used to make it are reinforced plate steel, lined with firebricks for durability, and effectiveness.
And whilst it does come from a lower price point, that has not effected user feedback and opinion of it. Having a look through various online retail sources, it has received quite positive ratings across the board.
An excellent range of features come built in with the TR007. But perhaps the one that stands out the most is how much fuel it can take. To put things into perspective, it will hold up to 30 pounds of burnable wood in one sitting. That’s pretty impressive and will offer a fantastic lengthy burn of up to fourteen hours.
Firebrick lining and heavy duty materials used in the construction make for an effective, reliable product that insulates the hat well for a much better output.
A cast iron feeding door, and a really cool ceramic glass window ensures that the unit has character, and looks great.
When we compile and browse through all the information we have, we understand it can be overwhelming to find a model suited to your home. That’s why we endeavor to make this whole process as simple as possible by highlighting several areas to keep your eye on. Each of these areas will help you and us decide the quality of a unit.
Most of these are listed throughout the buying guide above, but for those who want the basics, it will include the compatibility with your current home set up, the amount of logs or fuel in can be fed, the kind of insulation, the exterior design, and how long the burn lasts for. By condensing all this information about specific models, we can begin to understand where one has the edge over another.
Of course, another important part of this research will be looking at consumer opinions and ratings to gather all the good parts and flaws each product has for extra comparison purposes. By doing so, you can avoid some of the headaches and problems buyers have faced in the past.
We do hope our guides have made it a bit easier in finding the best wood stove. If you have further questions about a brand or feature, please get in touch, we shall try to answer as many of your questions as accurately as possible.