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8 Best Modern Wood Burning Stove: A Complete Guide to Buying

If you are here, I am sure you would have heard about the old-style campfire that looks cool when you enter a house, not a camping car.

Is it worth installing a wood-burning stove?

Yes! A wood-burning stove adds to the home’s aesthetics, and warmth to the whole place and is also called by the name Wood Burning Stove. Moreover, it offers a renewable alternative to the popularly used heating methods using oil and gas.

Are wood-burning stoves being phased out?

No. It is just that the legacy types of stoves are no more relevant due to their high carbon emission, excess ash, and more firewood required to get the heat. Read the complete section to understand how this can be brought down to keep the modern burning stoves still relevant.

Well, there are some realities that you should be aware of if you own such a burning stove or think it is incredible. Let us see at the beginning of this article, why we think there is a problem with such campfires.

You should obviously know that these stoves emit smoke, and that’s the problem. The older burning stoves would emit a lot of carbon due to which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came up with certain guidelines.

The efficiency of a burning stove is measured by the following parameters. The lesser these parameters the better the efficiency of the burning stove.

  • Smoke
  • Ash
  • Firewood

Here the lesser the smoke that the burner emits and the minimal the ash, the better the burning stove is rated. In addition to this, the burning stove should consume less wood to provide better heat.

The old versions of these burning stoves use to release about 15 – 30 grams of smoke per hour. Is it not harmful to the environment? Of course Yes!

So, EPA came into the picture and brought in guidelines to come up with burning stoves that produce no more than 4.5 grams per hour and eventually 2 grams of smoke per hour. This is incredible!

You can start using the lanterns when there is a power cut.

Is burning wood cheaper than gas?

More or less, the wood you want to burn is available in forests. According to us, if you have access to wood through forests, you can get it for free. Even otherwise, modern stoves are combustion efficient and they are certainly worth it.

When you are n the forst make sure you be careful about bears.

Are modern wood stoves more efficient?

Yes! Modern Wood-burning stoves have been following two approaches to improve their combustion mechanism, they are catalytic and non-catalytic combustion. Their smoke per hour has reduced drastically to somewhere between 1 – 4 grams per hour.

Moreover, the efficiency of the modern wood stove is 70% better than their counterparts of yesteryear.

Using both approaches, we can achieve the target in different ways, although the market is mostly filled with non-catalytic stove burners, making up 80% of the market.

The catalytic burners are a little complicated to be operated. It is popular among the ones who enjoy technology as it involves a lot of maintenance to efficiently burn these stoves in the long run.

What is the modern technology of wood-burning stove?

Modern technology can be broadly divided into two types. Let us discuss them in detail in this section.

Non-catalytic stoves

As opposed to the catalytic stoves, these stoves do not use any catalyst for their efficient combustion. Instead, to create a good environment during the combustion, they have these three internal characteristics.

1. Firebox Insulation

A box that confines the heat inside by creating an extra layer of insulation

2. Large Baffle

This makes sure that the hot gas flows for a longer time in the path created by it

3. Pre-heated Combustion Air

This combustion air is introduced through small holes just above the fuel in the firebox

Using the above three the non-catalytic combustion takes place more efficiently. While this type of combustion process happens, there are some parts that undergo wear and tear.

Catalytic Stoves

These are the stoves that depend on catalytic reactions to efficiently burn the firewood. The smoke that comes out of these stoves is passed through a coated ceramic honeycomb inside the stove.

This is where the smoke particles ignite and burn. They provide heat for a long period of time that is uniform.

The catalytic stoves come with a lever-operated catalytic by-pass damper which is opened for starting and reloading. Due to wear and tear, the honeycomb must be replaced once in a while.

How long do wood-burning stoves last?

There will not be any problem with the stoves overall, both the non-catalytic and the catalytic. But the following thing should be taken care of from the stoves of each type:

Non-catalytic

The baffle is one of the main components that need replacement on a daily basis along with some other parts, as these parts get deteriorated with the high head and efficient combustion.

Catalytic

The catalyst can last for more than six seasons provided the stove is taken care of properly. The following actions may break down the catalyst in as little as two years.

  1. Stove is over-fired
  2. Inappropriate fuel (like garbage) is burnt
  3. Regular cleaning and maintenance are not done

How to Install the Wood-Burning Stove?

After the selection of a wood-burning stove, it is equally important to install them in the right place of the house, depending on your preference.

Where you place the stove is proportional to the size and heat capacity of the stove.

Are modern wood-burning stoves safe?

As sometimes sparks or soot coming out of the fire is dangerous, you consider ample space surrounding the area where it is placed as a safety precaution.

Can a wood stove heat a whole house?

While choosing a stove, you need to understand the area of the space you would like to heat up. Wood Stoves come in different sizes right from heating a single room to an entire house.

What type of wood-burning stove is best?

Based on the sizes, these are the wood-burning stove of different sizes:

Small – 600 to 1,000 square feet

These stoves are used to heat a room or a seasonal cottage. On certain occasions, you can even confine the heat to a particular zone or area. This will in turn conserve energy as you will not be burning too much fuel.

Medium –  800 to 2,000 square feet

This is sufficient enough to heat a relatively large room, relatively large house, medium-sized houses, and cottages in winter.

Large – 800 to 3,000 square feet

They are used when the house is larger in size, an open-plan house, older houses, or leakier houses in colder climates when you can even use down pants.

The thing that you should also consider is that the wood-burner does not need to be heating every room of your home. There are some areas of your home that you might not enter, like the guest room, so these rooms might not necessarily be as warm as the rest of the house.

Alternative Fuel Sources for Burning Stoves

You have now selected the right burning stove for your house and placed it using professional advice. When you start thinking of cutting the wood all by yourself, feeding the fire, initially, it might sound romantic, but it might not even be possible as time passes by.

So, let us, in this section figure out sources of fuel other than wood. These are the list of alternative sources, made out of organic matter.

  • Wood chips
  • Sawdust
  • Hemp
  • Soy
  • Switchgrass
  • Coffee grounds

These materials are more efficient in the sense that they burn cleaner, longer, and produce more heat than conventional wood.

With a slight change in the mechanism that these burning stoves work, we can bring in pellets as a great alternative source of fire. Pellets can be used with a different kind of stove.

What are the highly efficient burning stoves?

The pellet stove burns can burn compressed pebbles of wood or other biomass waste, fed into the stove through an electric device, which will be the biggest setback for some off-grid consumers.

But for the electric intervention, these stoves are highly efficient and one of the cleanest wood-burning appliances. In addition to that, they tend to be more affordable too.

Best Modern Wood Stoves for an Elegant Ambience

Among the endless options of wood stoves, it might be tough to select the best one. But don’t settle immediately as it will be worth getting the best for your needs, so keep looking for some time and then boil down.

To help you on your way in the search for the one that is on par with your:

  • Design
  • Size
  • Technology
  • Fuel source

We are here listing out the best of the stoves here.

1. Napoleon Timberwolf 2100 Wood Burning Stove

Like most of the burning stoves there, this non-catalytic, EPA-certified, cost-effective, Fully refractory lined firebox is configurable.

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood45,000
Average Particulate Emissions Rate2.25 g/h
Recommended Heating Area500 – 1,500 sq. ft.
  • Choose an Ash pan that cleans up the ciders and ashes making the process of cleaning real quick.
  • Select an electric blower that spread the heat throughout the room.
  • A pedestal or leg assembly that supports this above the floor

2. Nova Wood Burning Stoves

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood9,000 to 50,000 
Average Particulate Emissions Rate2.4 g/h
Recommended Heating Area1,500 sq. ft.

This comes with different options in colors:

  • Nova 1 Satin Black W/ Black Door 
  • Nova 1 Charcoal Body W/ Charcoal Door 
  • Nova 2 Satin Black W/ Black Door 
  • Nova 2 Charcoal Body W/ Charcoal Door

Stove Legs:

  • 3″ Legs 
  • 6″ Legs 
  • 9″ Legs

and optional blower

3. Wood Stove with Black Door – Model 21

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood11,079-28,901
Average Particulate Emissions Rate1.7 g/h
Recommended Heating Area800 – 1,800 Sq. feet

This comes with an optional insert kit. pre-fab insert or as a free-standing unit with an optional Queen Anne leg. This is for the zone or room heating mobile version.

4. Osburn 1700 EPA Wood Stove – OB01700

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood65,000
Average Particulate Emissions Rate1.26 g/h
Recommended Heating Area1,800 Sq. feet

Well, it’s not Osbourne, it is Osburn that has a carbon emission of 1.26 g/h. That is really really low. It comes with a range of Leg Kits and accessories Rigig Firescreen and Glass Ash Lip.

The main body is equipped with:

  • High-density bricks
  • Cast iron door
  • Built-in ash pan
  • Top heat deflector
  • Side panels to reduce its clearances

5. Invicta Itaya 12 kW Wood Burning Stove

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood90,000
Average Particulate Emissions Rate2.3 g/h
Recommended Heating Area2,500 Sq. feet

A massive burning stove that is about 2500 sq feet, makes a statement to a living place. It has a unique design that has a subtle air wash system keeping the large viewing window in this magnificent log burner crystal clear.

6. Log Wood 2020 EPA Certified Wood Burning Stove

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood54,000
Average Particulate Emissions RateNot Listed
Recommended Heating Area900 Sq. feet

A very small-sized burning stove, this has a safety handle that remains cool even when the stove is burning. This store looks classic due to the heavy-duty cast iron with modern technology. Even with the small size, it accepts logs up to 19″ in length.

7. Empire Gateway 3500 XL Wood Stove

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood110,000 
Average Particulate Emissions RateNot Listed
Recommended Heating Area1,000 to 2,700 ft2

A very large wood stove with the standard no mess ash pan, simple one lever control, and air wash system allow for easy operation and maintenance. It can burn up to 10 hrs having a firebox of 3.5 ft3.

8. Buck Stove – Model 81 Wood Stove Or Fireplace Insert

Maximum BTU Output with Dry Cordwood45,400
Average Particulate Emissions Rate2.4 g/h
Recommended Heating Area1,600 – 2,700 Sq. Feet

This stove has a  durable non-catalytic technology, factory-installed variable speed blower, ash removal tray, and glass door with an air-wash system.

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