When picking a wood stove for your home, there are many things you have to consider. Venting, deciding between a wood stove and a wood fireplace and fireplace accessories are only a few. Coverage and efficiency are also important concepts to understand if you want to get the best fireplace for your space.
Because there is a lot of confusion on the difference between coverage and efficiency, we created this article to guide you through the terminology and help you select a wood stove that is right for you. When talking about coverage you need to know that coverage refers to the amount of space your stove or fireplace can heat. With an open front wood fireplace, coverage is best determined by looking at BTU's. A simple math equation can help you figure out how much fireplace will be enough to heat your space.
- wood stove
For most places, you can figure out the square footage of the space ( length x width ) you want to heat and multiply it by 30 to determine the BTU's you need. In colder places, you may need to up the number you multiply by to 40, to account for the extra strain on the unit. In the warmest climates, you can multiply your square footage by 15 to get a good estimate for the BTUs needed to heat your space.
When talking about a wood stove, the math is slightly different. You start by multiplying the length and width of your room to get the square footage. Then, all you have to do is choose a small wood stove if your square footage is under 1,500 ft. If you have 1,500 to 2,200 sq ft, then you get a medium wood stove. For rooms above 2,200 you will need a large wood stove. It's that simple.
- wood stove prepared to burn
Next, we need to talk about efficiency. Efficiency measures how much fuel the stove uses versus how much it wastes. For example, if you have a wood stove that is said to be 70% efficient, that means it uses 70% of the fuel and around 30% is lost up the vent pipe when you burn.
Wood stoves are much more efficient than wood fireplaces. Many wood stoves are around 70% - 80% efficient. While wood fireplaces can have as low as 15% efficiency. So, wood fireplaces are often more appealing to people who live in warmer climates and want them more for looks than actual heating abilities.
Coverage and efficiency are important terms you should get familiar with before making a decision to purchase a wood stove or fireplace. In the long run, the more research you do, the better your purchase will be and will ensure you are happy with your fireplace for years to come. If you have any questions regarding coverage, efficiency, or wood stoves in general, please reach out to us at 800.203.1642.