SIZE – The size stove you choose should be based on your heating needs and not on the size of wood you can put in.
Many people make the mistake if choosing the wrong stove just because it can fit a bigger piece of wood. The bigger the firebox, the more wood and ultimately the more heat it produces. If your stove is too large for the area you want to heat you will either overheat the home and need to open windows and doors, or you will burn it too low and cause more creosote and maintenence.
BASE OF THE STOVE – The base of the stove can either be a pedestal or legs.
CAST IRON OR STEEL – There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Cast iron will retain the heat longer in the metal, thus providing more radiant heat as the fire dies out. Steel stoves offer more variety in style (different finishes in doors and legs, pedestal options, etc.). Typically a cast iron stove is more expensive than a steel stove.
Be cautious of steel stoves that just have a cast iron “skin” on them… they are not true cast iron stoves.
STOVE VENTING / PIPE – A freestanding wood stove requires a proper venting system to ensure safety and performance.
Improper installation or the incorrect type of venting can lead to serious property damage and personal injury. Make sure your stove is installed by a professional and that you use the proper venting.
TYPES OF VENTING / PIPE – There are different brands of wood stove pipe, but all are classified into two categories:
1. “Connector” Pipe – This is the pipe that connects the stove to the “Chimney” pipe. This pipe can be either single wall or double wall.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of connector pipe:
Single Wall – The advantages are it is less expensive and gives off more radiant heat. The disadvantages are it requires that your stove be placed further from the walls (has a greater “clearance to combustible”) and will wear our sooner.
Double Wall – The advantages are that the inner lining of this pipe is stainless steel, so it will last longer. And because it is “air cooled” you can place the stove colser to a wall (lesser “clearnaces to combustible”).
2. “Chimney” Pipe – Once you penetrate a combustible … the ceiling or the wall… you must go to what is called the Chimney Pipe. This can be a “Triple Wall” pipe.. a combination of air cooled and solid packed pipe, or just a solid pack pipe.
We are a “specialty retailer” and not a Big Box store. That means we specialize in what we do… we are experts. We can help you not only select the right stove for your needs, but can assist in helping you through the installation process. We also have experienced installers available if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Please call The Spa Doctor with any questions, 209-545-5224.