Last updated: August 15, 2021

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Did you know that wood stoves are more environmentally friendly than gas stoves? This is because wood is a renewable fuel and therefore also more economical, which is why these types of stoves have a high efficiency and low consumption. In addition, there is a wide variety of models to suit different styles.

Stay with us and you will discover the main features of wood cookers, including their different varieties, designs, formats, materials, functions and power, among other relevant aspects that will help you choose the most suitable one for you. Don't miss it!




Summary

  • Wood stoves are appliances that radiate heat thanks to a combustion process produced when logs burn. In addition to being very effective at heating, they are more environmentally friendly, economical and highly decorative.
  • Among the most common variants of wood stoves are models made of steel, steel with refractory interior and cast iron (also called "cast iron"), which differ from each other mainly in their heating power.
  • When purchasing a wood stove, it is very important that you consider certain important aspects, such as its different varieties, sizes and power, among other relevant aspects to take into account.

The Best Wood Stove: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Wood Stoves

In this buying guide you will find the most important information about the product you are interested in buying. That is why we will tell you what wood cookers are, what they are used for and what their main advantages are, as well as their less beneficial or favourable aspects.

Wood cookers are an excellent option to combat the cold in a more sustainable and economical way. (Photo: Ian Allenden / 123rf.com)

What are wood stoves and what are their advantages?

Wood-burning cookers are devices that emit heat through a combustion process produced by burning logs. When burning, this wood generates a gas that, when in contact with oxygen, expels hot air that acclimatises the rooms on cold days.

Nowadays, there are also variants of wood stoves that work with electricity, or that have double chambers to boost heating. You can also find a wide variety of models, ranging from classic versions to the most modern and sophisticated styles.

Among their many advantages, wood stoves are more environmentally friendly, and also have high performance and low consumption, since wood is a renewable and quite economical fuel. Moreover, it is highly decorative and comes in a variety of materials.

Advantages
  • They are more economical than gas cookers
  • They are more ecological than gas cookers
  • They have a high performance
  • There is a great variety of models
  • They are very decorative
Disadvantages
  • They are not usually automatic or programmable like gas stoves
  • It is necessary to have enough space to store the firewood
  • They can be dangerous if they do not have the correct ventilation

Steel, steel with refractory interior or cast iron wood stove - what should you look out for?

You can find different varieties of wood cookers on the market, including steel, steel with a refractory interior and cast iron stoves. Below, we will detail the characteristics of each of them so that you can choose the one that is most suitable for you.

Steel

These wood stove, which are cheaper and lighter, heat up quickly, but do not keep the heat for as long. They can be a good option for small or well-insulated rooms, but may not be as effective for very large and cold spaces.

Steel with refractory interior

These cookers, with cleaner combustion than steel stoves, are built with refractory material (usually brick) capable of withstanding higher temperatures, so they heat much more. They are a great choice for larger or less insulated rooms due to their level of heating and heat retention.

Cast iron

These cookers, made from cast iron or cast iron, take longer to produce heat, but keep it longer. They are very resistant and are an excellent choice for very large spaces, such as rooms, sheds, large halls, etc., (although they are more difficult to install).

Steel Steel with refractory interior Functional
Heating level Low to medium Medium to high High
Weight/size Lightweight Medium to heavy weight Heavy
Comparative cost Low Medium to high Medium to high
Availability of space Small spaces (bedrooms, entrance halls, etc.) Larger spaces (bedrooms, entrance halls, etc.) Small spaces (living rooms, etc.) or Large spaces (living rooms, etc.)
Main characteristics Heats quickly, but does not maintain temperature for long Maintains temperature longer than steel Takes time to heat but maintains temperature for long

Purchasing Criteria

Here we will tell you which purchasing criteria you should take into account when buying a wood stove, as it is a product with multiple variants. This information will be of great help to you in choosing the perfect model for you!

Other types

In addition to the variants listed in the comparison table, there are other types of wood-burning cookers that are very useful and versatile. Here are a few models for you to consider when making your purchase.

  • Baker's wood stoves: These rustic cookers allow you to cook food (hence the name), which is a very useful additional function. Although they cost a bit more, their quality is excellent, making them a great option to have in the kitchen.
  • Double combustion wood stoves: They have a high efficiency because they burn twice, which also makes them more environmentally friendly (since in their second combustion they eliminate a large part of the gases). There are steel variants with double combustion, which are very functional for dining rooms, living rooms, etc.

There are several models of wood-burning cookers on the market, adapted to different styles, interests and needs. (Photo: Melinda Nagy / 123rf.com)

Power

How do I calculate the required power of the wood cooker? Basically, you should take into account the dimensions of the room where you are going to place it and its thermal insulation. Below, we will give you some information that may help you:

Basic or non-existent insulation

In these spaces a higher power cooker is needed, approximately 0.10 kW per m2, which means that for a 100 m2 house you will need a 10 kW appliance (calculating a 2.5 m ceiling). Keep in mind that these values are estimates, but they serve as a reference.

Well insulated rooms

For rooms with good thermal insulation you can choose a lower power cooker, as the heat will remain contained. In this case you would need an appliance of 0.06 kW per m2, which means that the equivalent power for a surface of 100 m2 would be 6 kW.

Sizes

It is important that you take into account the size of the wood cooker in order to adapt it to a place in your home where it will fit comfortably. Below, we will discuss the approximate measurements of these appliances so that you have a parameter of the dimensions.

  • Internal size: The size or internal capacity of the cooker is usually between 30 and 50 cm, approx., and is related to the size and quantity of logs it can store. Although it is important that it is large, the model and quality of the wood is more important when it comes to heating.
  • External size: The dimensions of these cookers can vary from 80 to 225 cm high, 48 to 65 cm wide and up to 70 cm deep. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, size is not the only factor that determines the heating of the stove.

The power of the wood cooker will depend on the dimensions and insulation of the room where it will be placed. (Photo: Aleksandrs Tihonovs / 123rf.com)

Recommendations

It is important that you take into account certain factors in order to make the most of all the advantages of your wood cooker. Here we will mention some aspects that we consider relevant, so that you don't lose sight of them when making your purchase.

Insulation

The insulation of the room is a fundamental factor, since it will keep the heat of the cooker for a longer period of time. Therefore, it is very important that you make sure that the doors and windows are hermetically closed so that air does not enter and heat is lost.

Ventilation

Although it may seem contradictory to the previous point, it is also important that there is good ventilation to be able to renew the ventilation and help the natural draught of air that these wood stoves provide. You will need to balance both aspects for good heating and ventilation.

Location

It is very important that the cooker is not located near flammable materials, such as curtains, sofas, blankets, cushions, carpets, etc., as they could automatically catch fire and cause a tragedy. Take precautions to avoid accidents.

Type of firewood

There are different qualities of firewood that influence the intensity and duration of the heat. For example, oak wood, which is a hard wood without resin, heats more and lasts longer than pine, which is soft and has resin, which can mean a difference of between 6 and 12 hours of autonomy.

(Featured Image Source: Joshua Rainey/ 123rf.com)

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