How to Choose the Right Wood Fire Heater

We’ve all heard about the importance of proper home insulation, but unfortunately, not all homes have this trait. Thankfully, you do not have to endure an uncomfortably cold room, especially in the winter when you have the right wood heater.

Many wood heaters or wood stove models are better than their old counterparts. They have improved safety and efficiency, keeping your home warm and cosy without producing a lot of smoke and ash. But with several products out there, it’s easy to get lost in your sea of wood heater options. This blog aims to guide you if you intend to purchase a suitable wood heater for your home.

What Size of Wood Fire Heater is Best for You?

One of the first things you should consider is the size of the room where the heater will be. Your choice of heater size will often depend on the size of the space you will be heating. Is it just a single room, or do you want to use the heater for your entire house?

Here’s our advice:

  • Small wood fire heaters are excellent for family rooms and can heat between 55 and 93 square metres. If you have a larger house, you can still use a small wood heater if you already have a central furnace. The stove will be effective for zone heating a particular room, such as the living room. This choice allows you to consume less fuel and energy, which also helps you save money.
  • Medium wood fire heaters are made for small to medium houses (about 74 to 186 square metres) and cottages requiring heating in winter. This size will be perfect for you if you already have an energy-efficient home.
  • Large wood fire heaters are ideal for open-plan layouts, as well as spacious houses, ranging from 74 to 279 square metres. If you have a leaky or old house with ineffective insulation, a bigger-sized heater can help.

Do you have a single or double-storey house? Remember that hot air rises; therefore, we suggest you install it on the bottom level. Doing so ensures that heated air moves around your space with ease.

Your Flooring Has an Impact on Your Decision

The type of flooring you have can help you decide the appropriate wood heater size. For example, carpets are useful in keeping the heat inside the house. Meanwhile, if you have floorboards, tiles, or cement flooring, heat is absorbed, rendering the heater almost useless. You can mitigate the situation by opting for a larger heater instead.

Don’t forget that carpet is combustible – and so are floorboards. If either is your flooring, you should install a floor protector or hearth to prevent accidents.

How High is Your Ceiling?

The height of your ceiling helps you determine the type of wood heater to buy. Generally, there are two main types to consider, and they are radiant and convection.

  • Convection Wood Heaters: This type has an air cavity between its outer skin and the firebox. When wood is burning, the air in the cavity not only heats up but also rises and expands. The outer casing takes more air from the base, pushing warm air out of the upper portion of the heater. If you have a standard ceiling height, which is between 2.4 metres and 2.7 metres, a convection heater is a good choice.
  • Radiant Wood Heaters: Every side of the firebox is exposed to this type. The heater radiates heat at the same consistent rate. For this reason, it is great for high ceilings, open areas, and rooms that are not well insulated.

Is Your Home Properly Insulated?

Speaking of insulation, we cannot stress the importance of proper insulation when it comes to wood heaters. You certainly do not want energy loss, so it would be helpful if you fix any insulation issue you have before you install a heater.

The performance of the heater relies heavily on your home insulation. When properly insulated, it is easy to retain heat. Poor insulation, on the other hand, only causes heat loss, meaning warm air escapes through windows, ceilings, and walls. Thankfully, modern houses often have good wall and roof insulation, so you do not have to worry about heat escaping your rooms.

Installing a Wood Heater Near Windows

What if the only available space you have in the house is by the windows? The setup is not advisable because of the dangers involved in heating the glass panes. When unsafe temperatures are reached, you can already tell this instance can be a fire hazard or may at least damage the windows. It does not mean that you cannot install the wood heater by the window.

The ideal distance is at least 91 centimetres. However, it is usually safe to install 30 cm away, as long as there are some precautions to ensure maximum safety, such as:

  • Having the wood heater installed by a professional
  • Inspecting pipes and flues for obstructions before using the heater
  • Ensuring you always have a fire extinguisher ready
  • Installing a carbon monoxide detector where the wood stove is
  • Having a reliable ventilation system
  • Glazing windows to prevent heat loss
  • Using proper fuel and wood

Beech, ash, maple, and other hardwoods are the best wood for heating.

Also, picking the correct heater size can lower fire hazard potential. Oversized heaters often operate slowly, leading to creosote build-up and a high possibility of flue fires.

Do You Need a Fan?

You do not require a fan when using your wood heater. However, it does help push air away, which guarantees better air circulation. Using a fan also helps heat the room faster, so you waste less energy. If you’re using a fan, it’s wise to wait about 20 minutes before you turn it on, so you only distribute pre-heated air across the room.

Convector heaters often have a fan, which means you get a heated room quicker, although you may have to deal with the increased noise.

Freestanding vs Inbuilt Heaters

A freestanding wood heater is excellent for homes that do not have an existing fireplace. Meanwhile, an inbuilt wood heater is often a better choice if you have an open brick fireplace. You can easily upgrade your fireplace with an inbuilt insert heater, which is more energy efficient and does not require heat to move up the chimney.

Aside from an insert heater, another type of inbuilt heater is a zero clearance box. With it, you can transform a boring blank wall with the heater, which can be the focal point of the room. You can build the zero clearance heater within a combustible framework or wall, so you can place it where you can maximise airflow and heat distribution.

Are you looking to buy and install a wood heater in your home? Check out our wood fire heating products with a 10 to 15-year warranty.

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