Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Stoves, Gas Stoves, Pellet Stoves, and Fireplace Inserts

Q. What Size Wood Stove Is Right For Me?

A. Woodstoves come in three basic sizes: small, medium and large. What size you need depends on the size of the area you need to heat. 

As a basic rule of thumb:

  • 600-1,000 square feet - Small Firebox
  • 1,000-1,800 square feet - Medium Firebox
  • 1,500-2,400 square feet - Large Firebox  

Q. How Much Does a Stove Cost?

A. There is a perfect stove for just about everyone. We offer economy stoves, luxury stoves, and everywhere in between.

A larger budget will allow you to heat your home and also customize your unit. Options include gold plated or satin chrome doors, wrought iron finish, and enamel coated cast iron. These options are purely decorative. Decorative options add beauty and cost, but they do not affect efficiency.

Q. Does My Stove Need A Blower?

A. A typical blower attaches to the back of a stove, directing air up the back of the unit and across the top, where it is the hottest. Blowers are often unnecessary when using a wood stove to heat a single room. However, blowers can be quite beneficial when attempting to heat multiple rooms.  

At eXpressFireplace.com, we recommend a blower for all gas units. The heat from a gas unit is not as hot as wood heat and therefore the heat doesn't move around the room as much. We also recommend blowers with fireplace inserts. Most of the fireplace insert is inside your fireplace, leaving only a small part is protruding, so the heat coming off the top of the unit stays inside the fireplace. Blowers force the hot air from the insert across the top of the unit and into the room. 

Q. What are the Advantages of Gas Stoves, Pellet Units and Wood Stoves?

A. We try to shed some light on these questions for you below.

Benefits of A Gas Stove

Gas units are easy to operate, as they usually turn on with a switch or remote control. Gas stoves are low maintenance, in that they require just one cleaning and inspection per year. Gas stoves are easy to run and there are no wood or bags of pellets to haul inside or store. Gas is more cost effective than fuel oil and electric heat, and the units work during power outages. Finally, gas produces a moist heat, which is considered by many to be the most comfortable.

Benefits and Drawbacks of of Pellet Stoves

Pellet units are also easy to operate, as they usually turn on with a push button or remote. Unlike a gas or wood stove, however, pellet units are mechanical and require electricity to operate, so they don’t run during power outages. Pellet stoves require an easy basic cleaning every ten bags, and chimney cleaning 1 to 2 times a year, depending on use. Pellet stoves require daily filling, but the fuel is easy to load and results in little mess. Pellet stoves will save a lot of money on fuel oil, electric, and gas. This type of stove produces a dry heat, so you may consider using a humidifier during the coldest months.

Pros and Cons of Operating A Wood Stove

Wood units are the most cost effective of the gas-pellet-wood stove options, and if you have your own source of wood, the savings will be even greater. Wood stoves work during power outages and some units can also be used to heat liquids and food. Some people think that wood stoves produce a burning smell, but the aroma is minimal and most wood stove owners will say they love it. Wood stoves require annual cleaning and ashes need to be removed weekly. Like pellet units, these require daily hauling, storing and loading of fuel. Like pellet stoves, wood produces a dry heat and some people like to use humidifiers to alleviate this issue.

Q. What is the Difference Between a Fireplace, Stove, and Insert?

Fireplace: A fireplace is a freestanding unit that is placed in a room. A wall is then built around the unit, when the fireplace is complete, it looks as if it has been built into the wall.

Stove: A stove is a freestanding unit that can be placed almost anywhere in a room. It has legs or a pedestal base, and is placed on a prefabricated hearth board or other approved fire resistant surface.

Fireplace Insert: An insert fits inside a masonry fireplace, greatly improving the efficiency. If you’re thinking of adding a fireplace insert in your home, you want to start by measuring the height, width, depth of the fireplace opening. Next, measure the slope of the back of the fireplace to ensure a comfortable fit. Finally, measure the width and height of any walls or mantels around the fireplace. Measuring first will make your decision easier because the size of the space will immediately eliminate some units.

Q. What is the Difference Between Vent Free and Direct Vent Gas Stoves?

A. If you’ve decided that a gas stove is right for you, you’ll next need to decide whether you want a vent free or direct vent stove.

Vent Free Gas Stove

Vent free gas stoves work like a gas cook stove. There is no chimney so 100% of the heat generated by the stove goes into the room. Vent free units are great for heating a single room or two, and can be placed virtually anywhere in a room, so long as it is placed on a hearth pad or other approved surface. Finally, since a chimney system is not required, vent free gas stoves are exceptionally affordable.

 Direct Vent Gas Stove

Direct vent gas stoves are also versatile. They can be placed almost anywhere in a room, but because a direct vert stove requires a chimney system, you do have to consider where the chimney will go. Unlike a wood stove chimney, a gas chimney system can be placed vertically or horizontally out your wall or through the ceiling. Finally, like a vent free gas stove, direct vent stoves must also be placed on a hearth pad or other approved surface.

 Where can I find an installer?

National chimney sweep guild offers certified and very qualified installers. Homesaver.com is a distributor website that offers certified and qualified installers. Angieslist, and Homeadvisor offers installers that are at a minimum have had a background check and are pros in the field. Other chimney professionals can found by searching Chimney sweep online. Other chimney sweep groups can be found by searching chimney sweep.

If you have any other questions, that we have not answered here, please email us at [email protected] or call toll free (518) 755-1110.

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