4 Things to Look For When Choosing a Wood Burning Stove

February 16, 2015

wood stove

A wood burning stove is a fantastic way to heat your home during the cold months of winter. It can work as a supplement to your existing heating system or even as a temporarily replacement if your power goes out. But picking out a wood stove isn’t as simple as going to your Maryland fireplace store and choosing the first stove that catches your eye. There are certain features you should be looking for when making your decision—we’ll highlight a few of them below.

Air Control

When using any heat or energy source, efficiency is the primary goal. Having a higher efficiency means less fuel needed and more heat produced. When it comes to wood burning stoves, this is even more important as your fuel is likely in limited supply or requires your own physical effort to replenish. Fortunately, modern wood burning stoves are made with this in mind.

Current models of wood burning stoves are made with dampers that allow you to control the flow of air through the stove. Opening the dampers increases the airflow, while closing them restricts it. Increased airflow will result in bigger flames, while decreasing it will cause a reduction in the fire. The dampers are generally controlled by a knob or a handle attached to them. By adjusting the flow of air accordingly, you can ensure that you are burning your wood efficiently and, therefore, reducing waste and getting the most bang for your buck.

Brick Lining

Another way to increase the efficiency of a heating device is to ensure that the heat does not escape and to control its dissipation. When it comes to wood burning stoves, the best way to ensure this is to buy one with brick lining. Brick insulation is designed to both absorb the heat and to slowly release it. This allows you to use less wood to heat your home for longer, as the heat created from burning the wood is better managed by the brick. Compare this type of stove to a cast iron model, where heat uncontrollably radiates off the walls, forcing you to continuously add more wood throughout the day.


One of the common issues with a fireplace or a wood stove is that it gets really hot right near them but the rest of the room stays the same temperature. The problem is that unlike a typical central heating system, a wood stove doesn’t have the vents and piping necessary to distribute the warm air throughout your home. But all is not lost! There is a way to get the air circulating significantly better—get a stove with a blower (or install one after the fact).

Blowers do exactly what they sound like: they blow air out of the wood stove. Pushing the air like this will help heat up the entire room; a good blower can even heat up a rather large room. Like the other two aforementioned features, a blower will help improve the efficiency of your stove by allowing you to get more heat with less wood.

Eco-Friendly Technology

Quite recently the EPA has passed new regulations tightening emission standards for wood stoves, further regulating the amount of particulate matter a stove can produce. In order to keep up with these ever increasing regulations, companies have begun producing more efficient and more advanced stoves. There are several new models of stoves that incorporate features like computer technology, catalytic converters, and even thermoelectric generators. Catalytic converters, for example, are not only eco-friendly, but also incredibly efficient. By burning the smoke, they produce more heat without using more wood. This means you don’t need a lot of oxygen and big flames to get the heat you desire. A smoldering fire can slowly burn for hours while the burned smoke is giving off enough heat to keep you warm.

If you need help looking for wood stoves that have all of these features and more, consult the wood stove professionals at Fireside Stone & Patio by calling us or contacting us online.