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Why Are Wood Stoves So Popular?

Jul 19, 2008
If you have any aesthetic sensibility at all, then the allure of wood stoves might be hard to resist. Burnished metal and a crackling fire definitely appeal to the senses, and combined with luxurious radiant heat, it's no wonder that many home owners are looking to incorporate stoves in their living areas. However, there's more to the story than romance and atmosphere.

Depending on where you picked up your concept of stoves, the picture you have in your mind's eye may no longer be accurate. For example, remember those black, pot-bellied stoves that were a mainstay of the Western movie and your grandparents' house? Those old-era stoves have gone the way of the American cowboy. They're a thing of the past, and that's actually a good thing.

Contemporary stoves have all the aesthetic appeal of the old models, and then some. A wide array of materials have added new looks to the market. Today's home owners can choose stoves made of pewter, soapstone, welded steel, or porcelain, as well as the traditional black iron.

A variety of textures and designer colors add even more room for personal preference. The stately-looking "antique" designs have made a comeback, but graceful, modern-looking models are also popular. Today's stoves are equally comfortable in a hunting lodge, family room, or urban loft.

But there's more. Not only are today's wood stoves better-looking. They also burn hotter, cleaner, and with more efficiency. Producing almost no smoke and very little wood ash, contemporary stoves consume less wood and they're kind to the environment. Since the early 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency has overseen the production process, ensuring that new models meet demanding emissions standards.

Today's stoves create a mere trickle of smoke--as little as 2-5 grams per hour. This means that they save you money with fuel economy, increase the air quality, and reduce the risk of fire to practically zero.

As you could probably guess, wood burning stoves now come in sizes and models that are suitable to almost every type of home. (For the purposes of this article, I'm assuming you aren't living in a cardboard box.) So whether you're living in a condo, a three-story house, or a loft space, there are stoves designed to heat your living area. The market may look kind of imposing. But there are a handful of questions that can clarify your needs.

Ask yourself, for example, "What do I want to accomplish? Am I heating one room, a small cottage or an entire house? Will I use my stove in a hot or cold climate, in the summer or winter months?"
With questions like these answered, you're ready to explore further. Are you ready to create some flickering fireside ambiance? Wood stoves have a lot to offer. Best of luck as you decide which stove is right for you.
About the Author
Looking for more help? AJ Vanderhorst writes about improving your home with wood stoves . A world of warm aesthetics and hot, clean, fuel economy awaits your discovery. Explore contemporary wood burning stoves at Wood Stoves for Homes .
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