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How Many Wood Stoves Will it Take to Heat Your Home?

Jul 12, 2008
Would you think I was lying me if I said "One?"

It may seem hard to believe, but it's actually possible to completely heat an average-sized home using wood stoves. In a best-case scenario, it is even possible to heat your residence with just one wood burning stove. However, this can only happen if several important conditions are satisfied.

What are those conditions? Before we get into that, you first need to understand that wood burning stoves are classified as space heaters. As opposed to the average central heating system, which uses a series of pipes and ducts, modern stoves generate radiant heat that warms a home directly.

This is excellent news for modern home owners, because newer houses are designed to be energy efficient. They require less heating to maintain comfortable air temperatures, which makes it realistic to heat a moderately-sized modern home with a single wood burning stove. Here's how this would happen.

Condition One: The stove needs to be installed in the home's main living area. Ideally, this will be in an open, communal area, where family members spend a lot of time. This is frequently on the floor shared by the kitchen, living and dining rooms-the places where people eat, read, watch TV and hang out. If it isn't possible to do this, you may have to use more than one stove to heat your house.

Condition Two: Heat flow needs to be possible. The one-stove approach works especially well in open-plan houses. If your residence has large rooms with few divisions, keeping everyone warm with just one large stove is really feasible. But if your house is broken up into multiple niches and smaller rooms, more than one wood burning stove will probably be necessary.

Condition Three: You need to choose from advanced wood stoves that are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. This is really no more than a small caveat, since all wood stoves designed after the '90s are EPA-certified, which means they are fuel efficient and have minimal environmental impact. However, if you're not aware of this fact, you could inadvertently sacrifice the carefully engineered benefits of modern wood stoves by buying older, used models. Now you know--so check off that concern.

So, back to our opening question. How many stoves will it take to heat your home? As we've seen, the answer is conditional. But with a little advance planning, heating your residence with just one efficient, powerful wood stove can be a reality.
About the Author
AJ Vanderhorst writes about choosing wood stoves to meet today's heating needs. A world of warm aesthetics and hot, clean, fuel economy awaits your discovery. Explore modern wood burning stoves at Wood Stoves for Homes .
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