Imagine this: A chilly evening. The kind of night that makes you tighten your sweater. The crackling of wood in your stoves is all you can hear as you read a good book. Isn’t there something almost magical about this? It’s more than just heat. It’s also about creating an ambience.

 

Let’s have a chat. You should think about a few factors before you buy one of these gorgeous items. Size is important. You don’t need to buy something that is either too small or makes your living area into a sauna. You should measure your living space to determine how much heat is needed.

You’ve probably heard people say that “it is as easy as falling from a log”. Setting up a stove for wood isn’t as simple as it sounds. Proper ventilation is essential for safety and efficiency. Make sure you have a well-maintained chimney or prepare to install flue pipe if needed.

Wood is the fuel. Not all types of wood burn equally. Hardwoods are the best. They burn longer and hotter. It’s important to use seasoned wood, not just any old log. Freshly-cut wood contains too many moisture molecules and will cause more smoke to be produced than flame.

In the case of smoke, it’s important to be realistic. Nobody likes the sooty smell on their clothes or walls. The best way to avoid these problems is by maintaining your stove. However, you will still have to clean it.

Placement in the home is something that people tend to overlook. It’s tempting to place it in the center of your living room. But practicality must also be considered. Make sure it’s away from any flammable material and that there is enough space around it.

Switch gears and let’s talk about the aesthetics. Let’s face it, half of the fun in owning these stoves comes from how they look. No matter if you like sleek, modern designs or want something that would look good in an old-timey log cabin, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Although they certainly help, the looks don’t matter. Functionality is the key. Some models include cool features such as fans built in to evenly distribute heat or glass doors that allow you watch the flames without having to open them every five minutes.

Maintaining your home is not a topic for dinner party conversation, but it’s important to do. Ignoring maintenance could lead to future problems. Make sure that seals around windows and doors are tight. Air leaks can cause problems and reduce efficiency.

Got kids? Pets? Consider installing some protective barriers near your stove because curious hands or paws combined with hot surfaces can cause serious injury.

Then there is the cost. This is a subject that no one likes to discuss, but it’s something everyone must consider carefully before diving into a project. Installation can be costly, not only for the stove but also for any changes to your home structure that are required.

Yet despite all these considerations–the planning, maintenance, costs–the payoff is huge: warmth that feels different from what you’d get out of an electric heater or even central heating system; it’s warmer somehow…cozier…more personal.

Why is it that people continue to use wood-burning stoves for generations? It could be nostalgia, or a desire to return to simpler days. Or it might just be that nothing else compares with the sound of winter winds howling outside.