A stove is essentially an enclosed box containing a fire, which can be used to heat whatever is placed on the stove and provide warmth to the surrounding living space.
Common stove fuels include wood (both pellets and logs), oil, coal, corn, and gas. These vary in terms of cost, efficiency, heat output, safety and more.
Stoves come in all shapes and sizes and today the stove market is relatively competitive. Rivals often compete to produce a stove which can give off heat more efficiently, project heat a further distance, cook better and of course look better.
Table of Contents
Why Should You Use a Stove?
Using a stove is often much cheaper to run than many other types of heating appliances. It might not seem that way from the start, because stoves have an expensive upfront payment- especially in terms of installation. However, once these costs are covered, you will typically begin to save money on your heating bills when compared to the likes of electricity.
It’s important to choose the right type of stove, often modern stoves will outperform older ones. For instance, EPA certified stoves will often project the same amount of heat for a lot less fuel, and a lot less fuel used means a lot less money spent.
Energy Security & Off-Grid Living
Another common reason people opt for heating and cooking with stoves is due to them being free from reliance on the grid. This means you don’t have to be so reliant on energy companies to meet your needs and they can potentially support an off-grid lifestyle.
Storing and monitoring your own fuel-use also means you have increased energy security. For example, if for whatever reason the energy grid or pipelines were compromised you would not be as affected.
Furthermore, it isn’t just saving money that will be the talk of the home, but their aesthetic appeal too. Stoves can look incredible, with many individuals preferring them to more modern appliances due to their natural feel and old-worldly appeal.
Yet, some companies bring an ultra-modern feel to this classic home centerpiece, and it can look equally as good. Stoves come in all different sizes- there are stoves large enough to heat entire industrial factories, and others small enough to keep a small cabin warm. Whatever stove you’re looking for, there is sure to be one out there that will look perfect in your home.
What Types of Stove are There?
Wood Burning Stoves
Wood burning stoves are perhaps the most common form of the stove because they’re super easy to run and maintain and wood is so easy to access across the country.
The science behind them is quite simple and goes back to the age of the caveman. Wood is ignited and burnt to produce heat.
The fire is contained within the firebox and as it burns the heat is radiated through the metallic casing.
Nowadays, wood stoves can be adjusted amazingly- it isn’t a case of just letting the fire burn. With all modern wood stoves, you can adjust the temperature of the stove via a digital thermostat, so that your room is as warm as you want it to be.
The biggest problem with wood stoves is that they do require more manual work to maintain and refuel. This is why many people prefer pellet stoves since they are equipped with a range of automated features.
Oil stoves are stoves similar to wooden stoves, that are ignited and fueled by heating certain oils instead of wood.
Much like a wood stove, the combustion occurs inside the combustion chamber. The advantage of oil is that there is no soot or ash to clean. Oil also has a much higher heat output than other types of fuel, such as propane.
However, Oil tends to be a lot more expensive than wood so can cost a lot more to run.
Per kilogram of wood, oil is usually double the price or more. As well as this, oil is a lot more flammable and potentially dangerous. With this comes added safety precautions within the stove, such as an oil burner to prevent out-of-control combustion.
Similar to wood corn stoves are one of the lesser expensive fuel types. Corn stove is also clean burning, this means they don’t produce potentially toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. In terms of heat output, corn stoves can produce from 13,000 to 60,000 BTUs or more, which is a great amount of heat, adequate for most modern homes.
This stove works similarly to a wooden stove, however corn fuels it. Since corn is used, it is typically most cost-effective for those who live relatively close to a corn-growing region.
Not many companies manufacture corn stoves, due to limited demand, so options are limited compared to other types of stoves. Ultimately, wood stoves are often preferred since they have the aesthetic people are looking for better and are often cheaper to run due to wood accessibility.
Multi-fuel stoves look just like regular stoves but they can run off a wide variety of different fuels including wood, coal, peat, and pellets. The advantage of these types of the stove is that you can use multiple different types of fuel so don’t have to be at the mercy of the fluctuating prices of a single fuel. Therefore, if wood happens to be a high and coal low cost you could make the most economical choice.
What Stove Should You Choose?
There are so many different types of stoves available today that choosing one can be difficult. Wood burning stoves remain popular due to their efficiency and the easy access to firewood throughout the country. Many individuals also prefer them due to their aesthetic appeal and the ability to support an off-grid lifestyle.
Oil stoves are also popular, but are a little more hazardous and often more expensive to buy and install. The price of oil can also fluctuate considerably and so some people don’t like the idea of being reliant on an oil stove.
Corn stoves aren’t as popular as for example, wood and pellet stoves, but may make financial sense for those that live in a region that grows abundant amounts of corn.
Ultimately, the right stove for you will depend on your location and a range of other factors. The bottom line is that wood soves remain popular due to their low upfront costs and accessibility to firewood.