Having decided to buy a wood burning stove and located a suitable spot for it, the next step is to calculate how much room will be required by your stove. When deciding between a small, medium, big, or extra large wood stove, Northern Cookstoves is here to help you sort it all out.
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How To Find the Right Sized Wood Stove For Your Home
Small, medium, big, and extra-large are the usual categories for wood stoves. According to a rough scale, a small wood stove can warm up to 500 square feet, a medium wood stove can warm up to 1,000 square feet, a big wood stove can warm up to 2,200 square feet, and an extra-large wood stove can warm up to 2,200 square feet or more. These estimates were developed for a typical, single-story house in a mild climate with no basement.
Consider the wood stove’s heating capacity with a full load before purchasing one. If you want clean glass and less creosote, you need to keep the load full. Building flames in a stove that is too big for the fireplace could cause dangerous or unsightly creosote buildup. Average Square Footage Heat Produced by a Standard Wood Stove
- Small Wood Stove: less than 500 sq. ft.
- Medium Wood Stove: 500 – 1,000 sq. ft.
- Large Wood Stove: 1,000 – 2,200 sq. ft.
- Extra-Large Wood Stove: 2,200+ sq. ft.
Another method for determining which wood stove would be suitable for a certain location would be to measure the room in which the stove would be put. Multiply the room’s dimensions (width x length x height) to get the answer. After that, you’ll need to divide that sum by 14.
With this information, you can calculate the required kilowatt output for the space.
A modest wood-burning stove would be appropriate if you determined that the room required between 4 and 6 kilowatts of heat.
A medium wood stove is what you want if the stove’s power requirements are between 7 and 9 kilowatts.
A large wood stove can provide the necessary heat for a room that requires a stove with an output of 10–15 KW.
Above 15 kilowatts, an oversized wood stove may be required.
This should be used only as a reference point. See below for further facts, and always discuss sizing and installation with an Authorized Regency dealer, as the actual heating capacity of a wood stove will vary dramatically depending on a wide range of circumstances. What Influences the Heating Capacity of a Wood Stove?
Your wood-burning stove’s heating capability can be affected by a number of factors, including:
- We’re talking about the roof’s peak in this case.
- A wood stove’s heating capability is highly sensitive to the room’s volume as a whole.
- A stove’s heating capacity will be reduced in older, poorly insulated homes, while it may be increased in newer, properly insulated homes.
- Total sash or window count.
- The more windows there are in a house or room, even double-paned ones, the more difficult it is for the stove to heat the space.
- Decoration of the Interior Walls.
- The stove’s heating efficiency will vary depending on the room’s layout and the number of walls in the house.
- Species of Tree Used in Construction.
- Varied species of wood have different BTU outputs; this list shows you which woods have the most to offer.
Which Technology Is Right For You?
You’ll need to consider not only the stove’s size (small, medium, large, or extra large) but also the burn technology it uses. Regency’s wood stove selection includes both traditional and modern hybrid catalytic models. The reburn mechanisms employed in the latter to cut down on pollutants, boost efficiency, and produce longer burn periods are what set them apart from the former. Both methods generate very efficient burns and are in compliance with the most recent EPA air quality regulations.
There is no intrinsic superiority of one technology over another. The two types of wood stoves, catalytic and non-catalytic, serve distinct purposes due to their contrasting modes of operation. Long, stable, continuous primary heating applications benefit more from catalytic wood stoves, while intermittent or supplementary heating applications benefit more from non-catalytic wood burners.
Wood Stove Size Calculator
Utilize this helpful tool to determine the optimal wood stove size for your home. This wood stove sizing tool takes into account not just the square footage of the room it will be installed in, but also the insulation of your home, the presence or absence of a chimney, and the desired temperature in the space.
Keep in mind that this tool and the aforementioned computations are merely a starting point. Before deciding on a wood-burning stove for your home, it’s best to get professional advice and updated estimates.
Other Factors to Consider When Sizing Your Wood Stove
The aforementioned standards are helpful as a starting point for your research; however, there are a number of other considerations that may affect the size of wood stove that will be best for your home. The aforementioned estimates are predicated on a moderate climate, single-story home with an open floor design. While insulation was factored in with the wood stove size calculator, it’s still a good idea to do some investigating to determine which category your property would come into, as a badly insulated home will reduce the heating capability of a wood stove. Considering the number of windows is also important for proper insulation. Having more windows or larger ones can reduce the effectiveness of a wood stove (even if the windows are double-glazed).
The design of your house as a whole is something else to think about. The difference between needing to move up a size from what your calculations are telling you and not doing so could be as simple as choosing an open-plan design over a design with many walls and nooks.
Last but not least, think about what kind of wood you plan to burn in the wood stove, as different kinds of wood have different heating potentials. Always use dry, well-seasoned wood for the best results. because the wood you choose will have to evaporate its moisture before it can generate heat. Get in touch with Northern Cookstoves if you’re searching for a high-quality wood stove in Canada.
What Size Wood Stove Do I Need? Don’T Let Manufacturers Fool You!
Stoves’ kilowatt (kW) ratings might be either the “nominal heat output” or “maximum heat output” or both, depending on the model (nominal is often provided, means a wishy-washy average, and is very dubious – see below).
Stove efficiency is different and is expressed as a percentage (how much heat the stove puts out after the remainder of the heat escapes up the chimney; a 75% efficient stove, for example, loses 25% of its heat up the chimney).
To keep things simple, the amount of heat produced by a stove is directly proportional to the quantity and duration of wood burned.
So, when comparing one stove to another, the maximum heat production is determined by the size of the firebox, for a certain amount of time.
Nominal Heat Output
Unfortunately, the manufacturer has the freedom to choose whichever nominal heat output they like in the UK. The testers ensure the nominal is “possible” with a reasonable amount of gasoline. As a result, it’s easy to see how the numbers might be manipulated. This is why some “5kW stoves” have a little firebox while others have a massive one. It’s unclear why a stove maker would want to advertise his product as producing 5kW when he could easily add a couple of logs and increase the power output to 8kW. This is because stoves with a nominal output of 5 kilowatts (kW) or less are generally exempt from the need for a room air vent, as per building regulations (which is a selling point). Determining how much wood a stove can hold can be hard as well. While three small logs could be ideal, five small logs poses a chance of one slipping out when the door is opened. Going any farther, it’s possible that seven tiny logs could fit through here, however doing so would make opening the door even more of a challenge. Who sets the standards for what constitutes a safe loading?
Take the manufacturer’s claimed kW as a rough estimate only if you’re in a stove retail-outlet browsing at stoves (before popping back here to check our prices, of course).
So How Many kW Do I Need?
A house with standard insulation and double windows will require around 1 kW of heat for every 14 cubic meters of area when the outside air temperature is zero degrees.
How many kilowatts are needed to heat a room is determined by multiplying its dimensions (width x length x height), or R, by a conversion factor (see below).
Width 4m x Length 8m x Height 2.8m = 89.6m3 (room volume).
- Simply divide the volume of the room by 25 if the building is brand new and has excellent insulation.
- Divide the volume by 14 if the room is adequately insulated.
- In the event that the insulation is subpar or nonexistent, divide the room’s volume by 10.
Now Forget About kW
In our example above, the room is fitted with average insulation therefore we divide the rooms volume by 14 and the kW required is revealed to be 6.4kW.
89.6m3 (room volume) / 14 = 6.4kW
If there is an arch connecting two rooms, consider them to be one large space. It’s all “finger in the air” if the ceiling of your room connects to the floor above. Because heat can “escape” up an open stairway, you should factor an extra 10-20% into your kW needs in such a situation.
Forget the kilowatts for a while and compare the stove’s firebox size to others’; doing so will reveal a lot.
You should also consider whether or not you want the stove to be the sole source of heat in the room when deciding on the appropriate size wood burning stove to purchase. The 7 kilowatt stove can be decreased to a 5 kilowatt stove if there is a 2 kilowatt radiator in the room that will “always be on.” The stove’s ability to function independently from the central heating system is, in my opinion, an excellent way to save money on heating bills. However, some people will view the stove as merely “an aesthetic enhancement,” in which case, it is reasonable to consider alternative sources of heat.
In my experience, it’s better to choose a wood stove that is slightly larger than what you anticipate you’ll need than to take any chances.
Keep in mind that an 8 kilowatt stove can actually handle wood with a heating value of 0 to 8 kilowatts.
Put aside the kilowatts for a moment and consider the size of the firebox.
Is a Room Air-vent Required Above a Certain Size?
If the power output is greater than 5 kilowatts (nominal), a vent must be installed (building regs). Even if your home is quite airtight (see “Do I need an air vent? “), you will require an air vent (for all stoves) if you live in a newly constructed building. However, if you are not in an airtight building and a 5 kW appears to be on the verge of being insufficient, you should get the largest 5 kW unit available. A 5 kW DG Ivar, for instance, dwarfs an 8 kW Ekol Clarity. Utterly inane method of examination 😉
What if the Room Measurements Suggest a Tiny Stove?
What if a 3kW or 4kW stove would be appropriate for the space, but you think they “look a little little” and would force you to cut the logs more finely than you’d like?
Don’t be afraid to round up or up if the numbers call for it (in this case consider a 5kW).
“But won’t I get too warm? Please don’t let Grandma take off all except her underpants! “.
That is not quite how it works. One twig will not produce enough heat to light an 8 kilowatt stove. The temperature is determined by the amount of wood burned. A 5 kilowatt stove will happily accommodate wood with a heat output of 2, 3, or 4 kilowatts.
Some people say that a huge stove results in black glass and poor combustion. This isn’t how things work at all. Overheating the dog/grandma/wife only happens if you fill the stove with fuel. Next, you put the heat on low and go to sleep. Insomnia is the root cause of sooty windows and smudged glass (and is also bad for the environment). Reduce the amount of fuel you’re using and make sure you’re burning it thoroughly. The one potential drawback of purchasing a too large stove is that the logs may have difficulty “staying together” because to the enormous floor space (rolling away from each other). This is a problem that can easily be overlooked.
Despite popular belief, small can be rad. Explore our variety of smaller stoves ranging from 3-5 kilowatts in output.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Wood Stove
It’s crucial to know the difference between the two wood stove kinds, the construction materials utilized, and the stove’s heating capabilities before purchasing. Read on to find out why these and other features are crucial in a wood stove.
Types of Wood Stoves
Some wood stoves are catalytic, while others are not. Catalytic wood stoves are distinct from their noncatalytic counterparts in that they burn cleaner and more effectively. Catalytic wood stoves have a combustor for reusing the smoke and byproducts of the wood burning process. Thanks to its layout, the stove consumes less fuel while producing fewer emissions during combustion. Catalytic wood stoves are very efficient (with ratings between 63 and 84 percent), making them viable solutions for primary heating.
In contrast to catalytic stoves, noncatalytic models are less expensive. They perform best as a secondary heater.
Three common building materials for wood stoves are cast iron, plate steel, and soapstone. The most common material, cast iron, heats up quickly and keeps its temperature for a longer period of time than other options. Nonetheless, it is more costly and prone to cracking than alternative materials.
Plate steel, like cast iron, is often used in wood stoves because it is long-lasting and has good heat retention. Among the several options for building a wood stove, soapstone is considered the best option. It may burn for 24 hours or more on a single load, and it has higher heat retention than cast iron. Soapstone or plate steel with a cast-iron door constitute the main components of most wood stoves.
The amount of square footage that can be heated by a wood stove when it is fully loaded with wood is called its heating capacity. In general, a stove can heat an area anywhere from about 1,200 square feet for a small stove to as much as 2,200 square feet (or more) for a large one.
A wood stove emits heat directly from the fire rather than through ducting like central heating does, so you should plan accordingly. The wood stove’s warmth dissipates quickly as one moves away from it.
BTUs (British Thermal Units) are used to quantify the heat produced by a wood stove (British Thermal Units). The average BTU output of a wood stove is between 50,000 and 80,000. The greater the wood stove’s BTU output, the larger an area it can effectively heat. It is possible to heat an area of up to 2,200 square feet with a 70,000 BTU wood stove. Although the stove’s BTU rating is a good indicator of its power, not all manufacturers list that rating.
The burn time of a wood stove is the amount of time it can go without being reloaded. The amount of wood a stove can store and the stove’s heat output, which can be adjusted via the damper, influence how long a fire can be kept going in it. The burn time can also be affected by the type of wood being utilized. Hardwoods have a better heat transfer and burn at lower temperatures than softwoods, which are less dense and catch fire more easily.
Unless properly vented to the outside, carbon monoxide produced by wood burners is poisonous and potentially lethal. To ensure that wood stoves are safe for consumer use, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts safety testing on them. Dependent on the type of wood being burned, the maximum allowed amount of emissions from wood stoves is between 2 and 2.5 grams per hour. Catalytic stoves’ emissions, at roughly 0.5 grams per hour, are significantly lower than the EPA’s maximum. If a wood stove isn’t EPA-approved, don’t buy it.
Weight and Size
When looking for a wood stove, the room in which it will be installed is arguably the most crucial factor. Most freestanding wood stoves are roughly 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep, and thus need a safety zone of at least 3 feet on all sides. Smaller, portable variants weigh less than 40 pounds and measure no more than 20 inches in height and 10 inches in depth, making them easy to pack in the car’s trunk for a camping trip.
Remember that the stove’s capacity for burning wood depends on its own size. Logs up to 18 inches in length can be used in a regular freestanding or insert wood stove, while portable ones can usually accommodate logs up to 8 inches in length.
Additional Features and Accessories
Wood stoves are not only functional heat sources, but they also produce an ambiance that is quite similar to that of a traditional fireplace. People gathered around a wood stove can often be seen gazing into the flames via the stove’s glass window.
Because of their flat surfaces, certain wood stoves can also be used to cook on. Camping and other outdoor activities necessitate the use of stoves with cooking capabilities.
Our Top Picks
The greatest wood-burning stove models available today are reflected in the following table, which takes into account the aforementioned factors. There are freestanding stoves, fireplace stove inserts for use in the home, portable wood stoves for use in the great outdoors, and everything in between.
- BTUs: 65,000
- Dimensions: 27 inches deep by 28 inches wide by 31 inches high
- Type: Freestanding
- Traditional style.
- A big window to watch the fire from.
- Using an air-wash system, the windows are cleaned.
- Plenty of heat generated.
- Low heating capacity compared to competing models
- BTUs: 80,000
- Dimensions: 27 inches deep by 22 inches wide by 30 inches high
- Type: Freestanding
- Having a high thermal output.
- The rustic charm is quite appealing.
- With built-in fan.
- Priced within most people’s budgets.
- Comparable to comparable freestanding ranges, but lacks the visual attractiveness of some of the others
- BTUs: 69,000
- Dimensions: 20.2 inches long by 27.2 inches wide by 22.4 inches high
- Type: Wall insert
- Heavy duty steel and iron plates used in the building.
- The built-in fan helps to re-circulate the cozy heat.
- Fits perfectly every time with the help of the built-in adjustment.
- Not as heat-retaining as cast-iron versions
- BTUs: 47,000
- Dimensions: 33.5 inches high by 30.5 inches wide by 25 inches deep
- Type: Stand-alone
- generates hardly any pollution.
- Has a burn time of at least 14 hours.
- Can adequately heat even sizable houses with its output.
- Very expensive
- BTUs: N/A
- Dimensions: 18 inches high by 10 inches wide by 10 inches deep (packed)
- Type: Portable
- Allows for easy storage and transit since it disassembles.
- Including those for the chimneys.
- General lightness.
- Stainless steel build means it won’t rust.
- can’t compare to the convenience of a larger stove in this regard
- BTUs: 68,000
- Dimensions: 32 inches high by 22.5 inches wide by 21 inches deep
- Type: Freestanding
- There is less visual impact in a room due to a smaller object.
- The door’s window is very big.
- Metal grips made of polished nickel.
- Blower not included
- BTUs: 47,000
- Dimensions: 20 inches long by 11 inches wide by 13 inches high
- Type: Stand-alone
- A small and portable form factor.
- Use it as a stove top if you like.
- Robust design that will last a long time.
- More frequent firewood loading is required due to the firebox’s diminutive size.
- BTUs: 50,000
- Dimensions: 36 inches high by 23.3 inches wide by 27 inches deep
- Type: Pedestal
- The log fire may be seen in its entirety via the expansive glass door.
- Fan has two speeds for your convenience.
- Protective heat barrier that encircles the entire device.
- Spacious container for ashes.
- Heat is lost more easily in a plate-steel building’s construction than in others.
The Pleasant Hearth Wood Burning Stove is a leading model among wood stoves because of its traditional design, high-quality construction, and high heating capacity (1,800 square feet). The Progress Hybrid Wood Stove from Woodstock Soapstone Stoves is a great option for anyone looking for a stove that can heat a larger space without releasing excessive amounts of pollution.
How We Chose the Best Wood Stoves
When selecting the best wood stoves, we looked at a wide variety of factors. With the exception of the portable and camping categories, we only examined wood stoves that could heat an area of 1,200 square feet or more.
Our first criteria in choosing wood stoves was the presence of wide windows on the doors, as this allows for a clear view of the firebox and, of course, the flames. We gave special consideration to build quality by selecting only models made with heavier-gauge steel and forged-iron doors, with the exception of our premium option, which is crafted from soapstone.
Read on for answers to frequently asked questions about installing and using a wood stove, such as the best location for your new stove and what kind of wood to burn in it.
Where should I place my wood stove?
A wood stove should be installed as close as feasible to the heart of the space it will be heating. This makes it possible for the stove’s heat to spread in all directions, effectively heating the room.
What type of wood is the best for a wood stove?
Oak, maple, ash, and birch are examples of hardwoods that produce a good flame. They have less pitch and sap, so they burn hotter and longer than pine, although softwoods like pine are more common.
How do I clean my wood stove?
If the ash pan in your fireplace didn’t get everything, use a brush to clean up the mess. Next, scrub the inside of the flue with a wire brush to remove any residue. Use a dry towel to polish the wood stove’s exterior. Liquids, such as water or paint, might produce unsightly streaks, so refrain from using them.
How long does a wood stove last?
Depending on how often you use it and how well you maintain it, a wood stove can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
Is it OK to leave a wood fireplace on overnight?
As long as certain guidelines are followed, a wood fireplace can be left on overnight without risk. Before you turn in for the night, give the wood a few hours to burn. If you want to go to sleep with a warm fire, add some ash to the logs that are already burning to put out the flames and slow down the burning. Then, reduce the fire’s size by closing the stove’s air vents; this will keep the fire burning safely all night.
Can I get carbon monoxide poisoning from a wood-burning stove?
Yes. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur if the exhaust from an interior wood-burning stove is not properly vented to the outside of the home. A wood-burning stove is safe to use if it has been properly installed, is vented to the outside, and has received an EPA certification.
What wood stove has the longest burn time?
The longest burn times come from catalytic or hybrid wood stoves. As a result of their construction and the characteristics of a catalytic combustor, catalytic stoves and inserts maintain consistent heat outputs over extended periods of time.
How big should my wood stove be?
The general rule of thumb is that a small wood stove can warm up to 500 square feet, a medium wood stove can warm up to 1,000 square feet, a large wood stove can warm up to 2,200 square feet, and an extra-large wood stove can warm up to 2,200 square feet or more.
What size BTU wood stove do I need?
A wood burner with a firebox size of 1.5 to 2 cubic feet and a maximum heat output of roughly 50,000 BTU/hr is ideal for heating a space of around 1,500 square feet.
Can a wood stove be too big?
It’s possible to have a wood stove that’s too big for the room it’s meant to heat. Stoves that burn wood need to be sized properly for the room they’ll be warming. Overheating caused by a wood stove that is too big for the room can cause people to avoid using it.
How big a room will a 5kW stove heat?
With those dimensions (and assuming a ceiling height of 2.5 meters), a typical living room has 70 cu. m. of space. The result (70) is divided by 14, and a 5 kW stove is the result.
How do I choose a wood stove?
Keep the room’s dimensions in mind when shopping for a wood stove. It is possible to get a wood burner that is large enough to warm an entire house, or one that is more appropriately proportioned for a single room. A family room or a vacation cottage can be adequately heated by a small burner.
How big a space can a wood stove heat?
In most cases, a 500-square-foot space can be heated by a small wood stove. Between 500 and 1000 square feet of space can be heated by a medium wood stove. Spaces between 1,000 and 2,200 square feet can be comfortably warmed by a large stove. Over 2200 square feet of space can be heated by an extra-large burner.
How many BTU does a small wood stove produce?
About 3000 BTUs are needed to heat a 100-square-foot space. About 100,000 BTUs of heat may be produced in a 4-cubic-foot firebox with fully loaded, wide-open air vents during the burn. A wood stove with a 3 cubic foot firebox can produce approximately 100,000 BTUs when burning at full blast.
Can a wood stove heat an entire house?
Most wood stoves aren’t made to warm an entire household, but rather a single room. However, a stove boiler or wood burner installed in a strategically positioned room can increase the overall temperature of an entire household.
It’s A Wrap!
Once you’ve determined the answer to the question, “What size wood stove do I need?” you can head out to the store and pick up the right model for your home. Remember, for the greatest results while building a fire, only use dry, seasoned wood. The wood must be totally dried out before it can be used as a heat source. Read why does my woodstove smoke when I open the door and similar articles for additional information. The article has been read.