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Tips for Using a Wood Stove to Heat a Large Home

Steuben WI wood burning fireplaceCan you heat a larger home with a single wood stove?  It’s certainly possible to do, but you need to take several things into consideration.

Ideally wood stoves are made to be space-heating appliances.  As long as there is a suitable method for venting the smoke to the outside, these efficient units can be placed just about anywhere within a home to provide fast, comfortable zone heating.

Points to ponder

If you want to get more out of your wood stove, first look at the overall square footage of your home.  Wood stoves come in a range of models designed to heat various size spaces.  You definitely want to purchase a unit with high heat output if you plan to heat a large home.

Look also at how your home is configured.  Are there plenty of open spaces, common with modern “open” floorplans?  Or are all the rooms well-sealed off from one another?  In the latter case, it may be a challenge to get a single wood stove to exude heat into all the rooms.  However, floor plans that are more open and not so compartmentalized might heat quite well with a single unit.

How air-tight is your home?  Newer homes tend to be built with an eye toward conserving warm and cool air (depending on the season), so an appropriately sized wood stove located in a central area could be perfect.  Older, draftier homes may present some problems when asking one stove to heat the entire interior.

If you have a two-story home, you’ll definitely want to locate the stove on the ground floor, because heat rises.  Additionally, it’s usually best to place your stove in the room that is most-used, such as the living room.  However, depending on your floorplan, this may not be the most efficient place for it.

You can increase the efficiency of a stove that’s working to heat an entire home by making a few modifications.  For example, make sure all window frames are well-caulked and that the walls are sufficiently insulated.  Consider purchasing double-pane windows, which insulate better than those with single panes.  Rugs retain heat better than wood floors.  Also remember when you say “heat the whole house,” you may not be talking about every single room.  If you have rooms that are unused or rarely used, you can close the doors on them, thereby reducing the output requirements of your stove.

Talk with a fireplace expert

The ideas we presented here are preliminary.  You’ll want to talk with a professional wood stove retailer and get much more detailed information before buying a new stove.  An expert can take your home’s size and layout into consideration and guide you toward the models that would best meet your needs.

expert wood burning stove installation in Mt. Horeb WIDepending on many factors, a single stove might not be appropriate for your home – and there’s nothing wrong with this.  You’ll still be able to enjoy a warming wood stove as a powerful source of supplemental heat for one or two or more rooms.

Get the answers you need about wood stoves and how one will work in your home by visiting Chimney Specialists of Highland, Wisconsin.  We have trained home-heating pros who can help you make the best choice.  We’re located at 869 Main St., or you can reach us by phone at (608) 929-4887.

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