How to choose the right stove for your home

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Choosing the stove that’s right for your home can be a complex task. Here is some helpful information on stove design and how it will affect your stove installation.

Many stove manufacturers produce “multi-fuel” stoves. These stoves run on more than one type of fuel: wood, coal, or oil (liquid or gas) and often propane as well. It is important to choose the stove that uses the best fuel for your climate and stove usage preferences. It is also important to research the common and popular brands in the market. It will be easier for your local appliance repair specialist to fix any stove issue from a common brand. 

If you live in an area with long cold winters and short hot summers, a multi-fuel stove might seem like a great option since it allows you to switch from heating with wood in the summer to heating with coal or oil during colder months. 

However, if any stove requires any type of stovepipe or venting, you will need to make sure the stove itself is winterized when using other types of fuel. If you want a stove that can be switched from heating with wood to heating with coal or oil without having to winterize the stove, consider working with a stove installer to find the stove best suited for your kitchen.

Keep in mind that if your stove relies on gravity feed furnaces (like many Vermont Castings stoves) rather than auger furnaces, your stove will not work properly when burning non-wood fuels like gas and propane. Gravity burners are easily contaminated by soot buildup and burning non-wood fuels can cause soot buildup more quickly than when burning wood alone.

Of course, stovepipes and vents for a stove can be costly and they must be installed properly to ensure a safe stove installation. Installing the stovepipe correctly requires experience. It also requires insulation of the stovepipe to avoid heat loss up through the stovepipe. Especially in colder climates, this is very important during winter months. In some areas it may even be required by code.

If you are not sure of your stove installation abilities or if you plan on leaving the stove unattended while it is being used, hiring a professional stove installer will provide safety benefits as well as fire prevention benefits. At first glance having a multi-fuel stove might seem like a good idea because you’ll always have backup fuel options when using just wood isn’t possible or practical. However, stovepipes and vents are complicated installations that require experience to ensure they work properly when you need them most. If you don’t plan on using your stove regularly, hiring a stove installer will provide both safety and peace of mind for the stove’s usage.

Sarah x

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