Buying the perfect wood stove or wood furnace for your home can be a very daunting task. With so many models to choose from, so many companies to buy from and so many features to pick from, where does one begin in choosing a new wood stove or wood furnace? Let’s take a look at a few options available to you as well as a few options that may or may not suit your needs and taste.
First let’s look at what you will want to be shopping for. If you have a large home but no place to put a wood stove or you have small children underfoot then you will probably want to be shopping for a wood furnace. Some options, such as the Taylor Water Stove, are designed to set safely outside of your home, in the backyard. This keeps them securely away from your children whilst they play inside your home. However, they do also keep your children protected while playing outside as the exterior of these units always remains cool to the touch. Another great feature, of a wood furnace, is that it can, via baseboards full of steam or hot water inside the house, distribute the heat evenly throughout the entire home.
Other brands of wood furnaces can be placed right in the basement level of your home, just as you would any other furnace. These wood furnaces give off a certain amount of heat to their surroundings, just as any other furnace would, therefore warming the basement level and keeping your pipes from freezing. Another great thing about wood furnaces are that some are designed to self-combust the chemicals that are being released by what is inside of them burning. The smoke that is finally released into the air is so pure it is almost snow white. My friend had a Taylor Water Stove and used to burn old tires in it, yet the smoke was still pure white as it exited the combustion chamber. Inside his house, the ultra hot heat from the tires produced an amazingly cozy home.
If it looks like a wood stove is what you are looking for, you can get some pretty amazing features on these as well. Some Morso’s, for example, have heat exchangers on them. This gives the smoke more surface area to come in contact with and therefore allows the stove to conduct more heat into the room. Other great options cost extra but are so well worth the extra cash outlay. These would include models with built in blowers to blow the heat out into your room, much like a forced hot air furnace would. Another option is Scandia’s fish smoking compartment, perfect for the avid sportsman.
So now that you know what you need and what you want to add to it for options, let’s take a look at some things to look for when buying your stove or furnace. First you will need to figure out what kind of space you are heating. Heating a small room? Take the room’s measurements and times the length by the width. This will give you your square footage and will help your stove person understand what kind of space you are needing to heat. If your entire house needs to be heated simply measure the entire footprint of the house and times the length by the width. Once your stove person has your measurements in hand, he or she can introduce you to a plethora of models that will get the job done for you. Something to keep in mind as you purchase your stove or furnace, always buy the name brand, if possible, as it will have good resale value later on, should you choose to sell it.
Speaking of used wood stoves, they are a great option for those of you who are on a tight budget. However, there are some things to keep in mind when purchasing them. Always purchase your used stove from a qualified wood stove refurbisher, such as Doc’s company. Why? A professional will check over every nook and cranny of the stove for hairline cracks, holes and other safety hazards. They will also replace the gasket, which will keep your family safe by keeping smoke and chemicals out of your living space. Not as important to safety, but important to aesthetics, is the fact that they will also give it a good cleaning and paint it up so it looks just like new. If you do find a great deal, from a private seller, always consider taking it to your qualified refurbisher to have any safety issues addressed. A tiny wood stove, purchased on the side of the road will cost you between $50-$100. Fixed up safely and like new, by a professional, the same stove will cost you from $100-$200. Considering that new stoves can cost into the thousands that really isn’t a bad deal for a safe and reliable, like new, stove.
Lastly, what brand would Doc recommend when it comes to buying any wood stove or wood furnace? For wood stoves, I personally have had excellent luck with Morsos and Comforters. They give out large amounts of heat and are extremely efficient, not to mention that they have great aesthetic appeal for those of you who like that older, more antique look. For wood furnaces, my friends have all had great luck with their Taylor Water Stoves. They all swear by how wonderful it is to not have square footage wasted for heating purposes and by how many different items they can burn that they could never burn in any other furnace. However, there are many other options out there that have great resale value, such as the Vermont Castings models, the Lopi models, Jotul models, Lange, Trolla and the Scandia Models. Just keep in mind that the bigger the brand, the bigger the stove and the better the condition, the higher the price. I have seen used stoves go for as high as $500 and up.