Wood and pellet stoves are an efficient and green way of keeping your home heated. However, a major disadvantage of stoves is that they can only heat the neighbouring air, meaning unless you are situated close to the flame you won’t get very warm.
This issue can easily be remedied with the use of a good quality wood stove fan which modulates the way in which the hot air is circulated and distributed equally into your living space, resulting in a more comfortable and warmer environment.
Top Rated Stove Fan Reviews
- Caframo 812AMXBX Limited AirMax Ecofan
- Price: $$
- Operates at 175 cfm (cubic feet per minute)
- Operates at between 185 DegreeF - 650 DegreeF (85 DegreeC - 345 DegreeC)
- Main Features: Creates its own electricity, no assembly required
- 2017 Model - Kenley Heat Powered Eco Friendly Stove Top Fan
- Price : $
- Operates at 130 cfm (cubic feet per minute)
- Operates as a minimum temperature is reached (120ºF)
- Main Features: Poduces its own power, silent blade design
- VonHaus Wood Stove Eco Fan
- Price : $
- Operates at 130 - 150 cfm (cubic feet per minute)
- Operates automatically between 140 - 572°F
- Main Features: Eco-friendly and self-powered, extremely quiet operation, compact size, no installation required
- Caframo Ecofan Original
- Price: $$$
- Operates at 150 cfm (cubic feet per minute)
- Operates automatically at 150°F
- Main Features: Produces own power, one year warranty, eco-friendly, silent design
What is a Stove Fan?
A blower or fan is composed of rotary blades that are designed to circulate the warm air heated surrounding and heated by your stove. This is advantageous since heat rises it tends to get trapped in the upper portion of your living space meaning the heat generated is not doing what you want it to do – keeping you and your family warm.
The rotation of the blades offers a simple yet effective solution, by recirculating and re-positing the hot air through your living space your heat will quite literally go further than ever before. The best part about many fan models is that the majority don’t require their separate source of power since they are usually powered using the heat of the stove.
How Does a Stove Fan Work?
The majority of fans today are powered by a Thermoelectric Power Generator (TEG) or a Sterling Engine.
- TEG Power
Stoves that utilise TEG are most common out of the two. This device operates using a thermoelectric module, which consists of negative and positive semiconductors. Heat is transferred from the hot area i.e. the stove, to the cold metal of the fan, resulting in an electric current. As a result, the heat produced from the stove is converted into electrical energy via a phenomenon known as the Seebeck effect. The energy produced then causes a rotary motor to start working and leading to the desired fan motion.
A major advantage of TEG models is that they are extremely reliable, do not require any other source of energy and since they do not require any movement parts they are possibly the safest option out of the two.
- Sterling Engine
A sterling engine or heat engine also utilises the heat energy produced by the stove. The engine utilises a cycle of compression and expansion caused by compressed air at different temperatures. The heat from the stove causes hot air to expand causing a piston to contract, while the piston in the portion of the engine containing the cold air causes another piston to retract. In turn, this leads to an overall conversion of heat energy to do the mechanical work of turning the fan blade.
Where Should You Place Your Fan?
In order to maximize the performance of your fan ensure you position it on a smooth, flat surface on top of your stove. Ensure that you place it in the middle or back of the stove and as far away from the flue pipe as possible. In addition, avoid placing it at the very front, or centre. The ideal placement is at the edge and middle position, this is where the cooler air can be drawn from behind and over the cooling fins for maximum benefit.
Why is a Stove Fan so Important?
The majority of wood stoves come accompanied with a blower also called a fan, however often these aren’t very good and compared to the best wood stove blowers out there would perform pretty badly. The truth is that a woodstove fan can save you money and heat your home a lot better since they can circulate the warm air equally throughout your living space and prevent it being lost up your chimney.
A wood stove fan is often overlooked by many people as just an unrequired extra gadget, however, the reality is that a good quality stove fan can make a massive difference to the heating of your home. Without one, the heat produced by your stove is likely to stay in one area and be lost up your chimney, therefore losing you heat and money. That’s why investing in a stove fan is a wise idea, it can dispense the hot air throughout your home instead of it being lost and wasted.
How do you know whether you’re looking at a good quality blower? The answer is that there are certain features you should look out for before parting with your money.
What Should Look For in a Good Fan?
- Automatic Control: this means your stove will automatically detect a certain temperature and will be triggered to start running. This means you no longer have to manually switch it on and off, which believe it or not is incredibly easy to forget. Certain fans are actually run on a heat powered fan, which means they are powered by the heat produced from the stove, this is known as the Peltier Effect, and this saves you on batteries too.
- Noise Control: most fans create some level of noise and to most people this is acceptable. However, if you live in a small home or it is particular noisy this can become a nuisance, to solve this issue you should opt for a heat powered wood stove fan, as they tend to be a lot quieter than electrical powered blowers that utilize a noisy motor.
- Simple Installation: when installing anything new and functional, you want the process to be as simple as possible. Ideally, you want to choose one which easily fits into the piping on the outside of your wood stove. This will distribute the heat nicely throughout your room, although if you prefer the heat to be distributed through your entire home, then you should opt for one in a vented system instead.
Caframo Ecofan Alcona Heat Powered Stove Fan – Black Blade
This is the number one best seller on Amazon and in our view buying a woodstove fan from a reputable brand with a pristine reputation is always the best option. In real terms this fan will provide potential savings of up to 12% and heat generated by your stove will be felt 20% faster. This is a heat powered stove fan that operates automatically between 230°F and 650°F and moves up to 150 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of heated air making your heat circulate through you living space efficiently, which is always welcome especially in the colder seasons.
The actual blade is made from aluminium which is one of the best heat conductors, ensuring optimum heat transfer, the distinction between this fan and others is that it’s been designed to perfection.
- 8-inch blade size.
- No electricity or batteries needed.
Caframo Limited 812AM-KBX Ecofan Airmax, Nickel Blade
This automatic fan is brilliant for any wood stove that doesn’t exceed temperatures of 650°F and best of all it produces its own power, saving you money on electricity. Additionally, it thrusts up to a healthy 150 CFM (cubic feet per minute) so you can be confident that this fan will circulate the heat from your stove to the rest of your room very effectively. Perhaps most importantly this fan is whisper quiet and already assembled for maximum convenience.
- One year warranty for peace of mind.
- Heat powered fan to save money and less noise.
- Gold or nickel blades available.
Vulcan Stove Fan (Stirling Engine Powered)
If you don’t mind paying a little more for the best, then this stove fan is where you should invest your money. Perhaps the major negative of this fan is that it needs a little kick start with a hand spin, however, after that, it will be powered by the heat from the stove. The biggest advantage of this fan is that hot air will be circulated throughout your living space uniformly and far better than the cheaper alternatives, this is due to the 5 blades that have been engineered for optimum form and function. Just like other heat powered fans, this is 100% eco-friendly, doesn’t require any electricity or batteries and is very quiet.
In our view this is easily the best stove fan and although the price reflects that we think it’s worth it considering the great job it does at keeping your home nice and warm throughout the year.
- No fragile electronics.
- Circulates up to 2.2 times more air than other stove fans.
- Air flow is approximately 215 CFM at 930°F.
- Operates on almost all stoves.
- Runs from 300°F to 930°F.
The fan reviews above should provide you with a starting point in searching for a fan to suit your requirements. In our view, a wood stove fan is a necessity if you heat your home using any form of a stove, as without one you’re literally throwing away hot air that costs you money and if circulated adequately could keep you warm for longer.
There are many wood stoves out there, but the best ones are those that make a little noise, are heat powered and circulate air efficiently, so always check the specifications before making your decision, as your fan is likely to be with you for many years.