How To Choose The Right Wood Burning Stove


A guide to woodburners

So you’ve decided that you want a wood burning stove? Congratulations! The world of wood burning stoves is now your oyster. This is your go-to guide on choosing your wood burning stove, the design, the fuel to use and sourcing it.

Before you make any decisions or purchases, we advise that you have a survey carried out to establish which wood burning stove is suitable for your property.
You will need to find an installer to fit your stove. Remember to check their credentials and that they are HETAS registered. An experienced installer will be able to provide advice on key issues that you may need such as the right output for your room and whether you live in a smokeless fuel zone.

Different types of stoves:

Inset vs. Freestanding Stove

If you’ve got a smaller room and an existing chimney breast, you should consider an inset stove instead of a freestanding stove. 

An inset stove is built into the wall so won’t be obtrusive and its output is just as effective as a freestanding stove but may be more expensive to buy. 

A freestanding stove will inevitably take up more room than an inset, which is why they are better for larger spaces. The traditional aesthetics of the freestanding stove will suit older, rustic homes and they are often cheaper than inset stoves. They are, however, slightly more expensive to install than insets.

Somerton Stove
Steel vs. Cast Iron 

Many stoves nowadays are made from steel but there is no difference in a steel or cast iron in terms of heating performance. They do, however, vary in other aspects.

Cast iron stoves will take more time to heat up because of the thick metal, but it will also retain heat for longer because of this. If you would prefer your home to be heated quickly rather than for longer, opt for a steel wood burning stove.

The aesthetics of your wood burning stove are key and you should choose one that will look right in your home. Typically, steel stoves have smooth and more minimalistic appearances and will look better in contemporary homes whereas the often intricate and elaborate detailing of the cast iron stove will suit a more classic decor. Unless of course, you like the hybrid style of modern meets vintage!

Essentially, it is up to you. A wood burning stove is a huge investment, so make sure you choose something that you’ll be happy to look at and use for a long time.

Stove Finishes

The opinion of paint or polish stove finishes differ greatly from person to person so this choice is entirely yours and can be dependent on the look you’re going for in your home. If you’re unsure there is a great summary here on the pros and cons of each.

Boiler Stoves

A stove with a backboiler can be used to provide central heating and hot water. This is becoming a popular option as firewood is a secure and relatively cheap from of fuel and can reduce your households CO2 emissions. If you need a stove to run your homes central heating systems we recommend contacting a HETAS approved heating engineer see our FAQ's for more detail.

Wood Burning Stove Accessories

Many people think that a fan for a wood burning stove is essential to disperse the heat around the room but this is not necessarily true. If your wood burning stove is not heating the room fully, then it could be because it is not big enough. The stove should be able to achieve this on its own. 

However, fans do have its use. They can be helpful for spreading the heat around the room quicker, reducing hot and cold spots in the room for an even temperature throughout and reducing stove heat requirement, which means a reduction in fuel costs. 

Still not sure what to go for? 

Why not get advice from people who have already gone through the process. The Restoration Couple, Tim and Jo have a great video documenting how they chose their stove which will may help with your decision make and also save you money. 

If you need additional advice or guidance don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via the website or come and have a chat in one of our branches. We’re always happy to help.