Category: General

wood-burning-stove

Choosing The Best Stove

Best Stove – Buying Guide

Choosing the best stove is something many people have to consider either as an alternate way to heat the whole home, or as way to boost the heating you already have. There have been a lot of design advances in stoves over the last decade so that stoves are a lot more reliable than they once were. But whether you want it for the house, a room or even just the water there are some things you need to think about. How much effort are you intending to put into the upkeep of the stove, what safety concerns are there and are they addressed and of course is the fuel easy to come by and affordable. Here we take a look at these considerations to make when choosing the best stove.

Best Stove

How Much To Heat Up

antique-pot-belly-stoveFirst is to think about how much work that stove is actually going to need to do. The more you want to heat up, the larger the space, or the more hot water you need, the larger the stove needs to be. If you are heating just a room you can get a small pellet stove and that will do the job perfectly. Or for something a bit more traditional you could get a pot belly stove, or an antique parlor stove. If however you are wanting to heat a whole house and it will heat the hot water for that house, you need something larger with more power. You could go for an outdoor wood boiler, or a larger pellet stove. Knowing the needs you have will be an important step in choosing the best stove for you.

Look

But then you also need to think about how work it will take to keep the stove going so that it supplies a steady heat to the home. Some people prefer a more traditional method, such as burning coal or wood. You can still get vintage wood stoves that have been restored beautifully as well as coal burning ones. But these are more time intensive, logs have to be chopped, stored and covered from the elements, coal needs to be stored and shoveled. If that sounds like too much work but you want a vintage look you can also get antique stoves that have been converted so that they can use gas. You can also get a pellet stove, some even can automatically fill themselves during the day saving you the effort.

Safety

best-catalytic-wood-stoveIn terms of safety when heating a whole house the outdoor option is a good one. You can get them running on oil or wood but by being outside the home if something happens it happens out there. This will depend a lot on who is in the home with you. If there are children in the house some stoves are not suitable as they get very hot and an accidental touch or trip could cause a nasty injury. Guards around the stove for these types are essential. The vent free type of stove is one to avoid with children around too (they are banned in some places) as they tend to release fumes directly into the room.

Whichever option you go for when choosing the best stove for you make sure you have a good source of fuel for it. Opting for a wood burning stove when you have no source of wood does not make sense. Likewise if you live far out away from people choosing pellets or something you have to go into town to get is not a good option. It is possible to get stoves that run on more than one type of fuel, and that could be a good idea in case one source becomes harder to get for whatever reason. The most common multi fuel stove combination is oil and wood. Some pellet stoves are able to burn different grades so if you run out of high grade pellets you can use others until you can re-stock.

Pot Belly Stove

Why You Should Get Yourself A Pot Belly Stove

pot-belly-stove

If there is anything that is a great symbol of Americana it is the pot belly stove, used in colonial times it was not just a source of heat for the family it was also where the meals were cooked in homes that had more wealth. Made of solid cast iron it was important for better heat distribution, insulation and for a longer lasting stove that the casting was done well. You could get more ornate antique wood burning stoves but the pot belly stove is more compact making it perfect for other areas like schoolhouses, general stores and rail stations. If you have watched Little House on the Prairie or old western films you may have seen this stove in some shots.

unique-pot-belly-stoveA lot of people have fond memories of this stove in the kitchen of their grandparents. Often because people gathered around its source of heat it was the room most often used, and where the family and guests would gather to talk and keep warm. Nowadays those kind of gathering and feelings are harder to come by with people often busy and in their spaces in larger homes. To try to recapture that time period and the feelings it invokes some people are installing antique stoves in their kitchen today.

As well as recreating a place to gather for the family there are other valid reasons for having a pot belly stove. Wood burning stoves are a great way to heat the home and it is often more economical than more modern means. Models after the 1990s that have the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency will cost about a third less than heating with a stove that is more traditional. While as mentioned cast iron is what the pot belly stove is known to be made from, modern makers can also make stainless steel stoves that have glass doors.

wood-under-pot-belly-stoveOr you can still have that traditional look but with up to date specs that make it more efficient. While they used to burn coal or wood, and you can still opt for that, you can also now more commonly use grains or wood pellets. It is also possible to have real vintage pot belly stoves that have been properly restored or you can have one converted for a charge to be able to use electricity or gas. Just make sure you have the right spot for it and that you have got the measurements right. Also make sure it can attach to the chimney to let the smoke out.

The pot belly stove can put out a lot of heat so it needs to be at a certain distance from anything that could catch fire, at least 3 feet. You also need to have good enough draft control so that if the temperature drops you can control the draft so the pot belly stove puts out more heat. There should also be an ash pan underneath to catch the ash from whatever you are choosing to burn and that should be easy to take out and empty.

A lot of people are attracted to the classic look of the pot belly stove and even over one hundred years old these things are still working great! If you have somewhere that is one roomed and needs a source of heating this could be a great option. It is fuel efficient and in today’s tough times when energy bills are hard to manage in the colder months this could really help you out.

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