There's just something about a roaring fire that makes a house feel inviting and welcoming. Perhaps it's the scent of the burning wood or maybe the beauty of the dancing flames. Whatever the reason, the unfortunate fact for many homeowners is that fireplaces are not always easy to add on to a home that's already been constructed.
Wood stoves have a number of advantages over other wood-burning devices and heating mechanisms. They are generally cheaper than turning on the gas or electric heat if only a single room requires heat in the winter. They are fairly simple to install, too. And, here's the real bonus, they don't require full, elaborate chimney systems, but keep in mind they will require their own kind of chimney.
Wood stoves are smaller and less involved than fireplaces. They can go in just about any location in a house as long as there's a way to properly install the stove's own chimney system. And, unlike a full fireplace, these don't require full brick structures that can monopolize a room. They just use their own small and less invasive pipes for funneling out unwanted smoke and soot to a larger chimney system.
Depending on size, design and location of placement, wood stoves can be used to heat an entire house, too, or at least most of it. To make this happen though, a stove needs to be in a good location in the home, one that gets a lot of use, and there needs to be a way to channel the heat to other areas. Professional installers will know how to make this happen.
Stoves can also add great architectural features to a home. They come in a number of sizes, styles, colors. They can take on old-fashion appearances or be modern and eye-popping. There's a wood-burning stove available for just about any home's design concept.
The keys to choosing a good stove for you home include:
* Location chosen. It's likely you'd want a different style for the living room than one placed upstairs in a bedroom. Shop styles and sizes and make sure to get professional installation or at least professional advice.
* Safety features. Wood-burning stoves do in fact "burn" materials. This means they need to include proper ventilation and other safety features. There should be correct grating systems or screening materials. Make sure this is so especially if small children are around. Locking mechanisms are also a good idea to make sure a child doesn't open a stove during a burn.
* Design. It's important to get a stove you like. Remember they come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. Shop around and find one that compliments your home and also includes good safety and smoke removal features.
A wood-burning stove is a great alternative to gas or electric heat. It can even be more cost-effective. Just remember to shop around, get professional installation or advice and make sure the stove you buy offers enough safety features to protect it from little hands or little hands from it and you should be all set.