Choosing the Right Heating Stove

Choosing your ideal heating stove requires a certain number of considerations such as the exact location, energy source and style. Heating stoves are overall easy to install, safe to use and low on energy consumption with a considerable heat output. However, most heating stoves are zone heating solutions and not good as a main heat source.

There are a number of different types of heating stoves to mull over. In this guide, we discuss the various types of heating stoves according to the power source used to fuel the fire or heat. The main characteristics to consider are the power source, style and material.


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  • How to choose the power source for my heating stove?

    The performance of a heating stove depends mainly on its location in the house and its power, as well as the volume (m3) to heat and the level of insulation of the house.

    There are different types of heating stoves, some depend on combustibles to feed the heat. The choice of fuel affects the performance of the device, whether it is coal, gas, wood or pellets. Gas and electricity, on the other hand, offer a real simplicity of use but do not have the same heating comfort as wood models—the quality of each type of firewood is, however, essential. An efficiency percentage is used to describe the heat produced by a stove within a given area.

    Focus wood heating stove

    Wood: This traditional type of heating stove works with wooden logs. Wood is twice as cheap as electric, making this the cheapest source of energy. It’s considered a renewable energy since new trees are planted as others are harvested. Hardwoods (i.e. oak, beech) have a slow and steady combustion whereas softwoods (i.e. pine, redwood, ash, birch, cherry) have a rapid combustion that allows the interior temperature to rise more quickly.

    • Can reach 85% efficiency.
    • Biofuel: ecological and renewable

    MCZ pellet heating stove

    Pellet: Similar to traditional wood stoves, the pellet stove uses wood fuel in the form of pellets. Pellet stoves have a loading system and automatic distribution which allows the stove to operate in full autonomy for a period of 1 to 4 days with adjustable heat emission. It requires little maintenance and is very clean. Pellets must be stored indoors, however, protected from moisture.

    • Can reach 80% efficiency.
    • Biofuel: ecological and renewable

    EDILKAMIN multi-fuel heating stove

    Multi-fuel: The combination stove, also known as a multi-fuel stove, accepts several sources of energy, usually logs and pellets. This type of stove can benefit from the use of wooden logs during the day, for fast heating and high efficiency, and the use of pellets at night for consistent heating. Some mixed stoves can automatically switch from one to the other, including during combustion. If the stove is dependent on electricity for its operation with pellets, it can be used in log burning mode in case of power failure. It can reach more than 70 hours of autonomy thanks to a tank gradually releasing pellets, about 6 times more than a traditional stove.

    • Can reach 90% efficiency.
    • Biofuels: ecological and renewable

    Sentiotec electric heating stove

    Electric: This type of stove needs to be connected to an electric outlet and reacts immediately. Some heating stoves can be managed with a remote control. The power of electric stoves is expressed in watts. The higher it is, the more the stove is able to heat quickly and efficiently. A higher power naturally implies a higher power consumption of the device. It’s great as a simple backup heater when you do not need a huge amount of power. Despite its efficiency rate, it doesn’t generate as much heat as real fires and has a less appealing aesthetics.

    • 100% efficient
    • Zone heating solution

    Piazzetta gas heating stove

    Gas: Technically, a gas stove works without electricity. Natural gas heating stoves are more often connected to the a natural gas network, while propane gas stoves are more restrictive as they’re powered by gas in bottles or tanks and which need to be replenished regularly. A gas stove can act as a main heating solution.

    • Power (expressed in kW) between 9 and 15 kW.
      • 9.2 kW of power can heat a volume from 253 to 690 m3.
      • 12.1 kW of power can heat a volume from 333 to 908 m3.
      • 12.6 kW of power can heat a volume from 347 to 945 m3.
      • 14.7 kW of power can heat a volume from 404 to 1100 m3.

    Harman Stoves charcoal heating stove

    Charcoal: The charcoal heating stove works with wood and coal. It includes a hopper; a funnel for charging coal easily that can be removed when using wood as fuel, and a front and/or side door for loading logs. Coal gives off more heat than wood. In cases of extreme cold, it is advisable to use charcoal rather than wood. Coal also burns less quickly. Once the hopper is full, coal can burn for over 24 hours depending on the size of the stove. However, coal pollutes more than wood. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the major risks of using a charcoal stove. It is not the only type of heating stove to engender such a risk. For your safety, install a carbon monoxide detector and place a well-closed storage area near the stove to confine dust.

    • Can reach 85% efficiency.
    • 24+ hours of combustion

    GlammFire bioethanol heating stove

    Bioethanol: Increasingly used as a fuel, bioethanol is a highly flammable biofuel made from beets or cereals. The bioethanol heating stove is a fast and ecological heating solution. Bioethanol should be kept in cans in an area far enough away from the stove for extra security. This system does not need a specific location and does not require connection to a vent, making installation easy. It also means there is no smoke. As a result, it requires little maintenance as there is no soot or ash. Even though this fuel does not release carbon monoxide, we advise you to ventilate your room regularly. The bioethanol heating stove can be stationary or mobile and must have an emergency stop system in case it turns over. It can be used as additional heating and has a fairly modest heating capacity. It gives a beautiful atmosphere with real flames just like a real fire. However, the cost of fuel is quite high, reaching 2 euros per liter.

    • Does not emit smoke and little CO2.

    Nestor Martin oil heating stove

    Oil: An economical and efficient solution, oil heating stoves are mobile booster heaters capable of heating surfaces up to about 50 m². Single-fuel oil stoves burn primarily nitrogen dioxide and heat up to 70% by radiation and 30% by convection. The double combustion oil heating stove has a second combustion chamber. This combustion process results in better heating efficiency and a lower release of toxic elements into the air. Dual combustion oil stoves burn mainly carbon monoxide and heat up to 30% by radiation and 70% by convection.

    • Requires 100 W per m² or 0.04 kW per m3.
      • An oil stove at 3,000 W or 3 kW (1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt) can heat a room up to 30 m².
    • Heats from 0.8 kW up to 3 kW for small kerosene stoves and from 1.5 kW to 5.5 kW for the most powerful ones.

    DEVILLE fuel oil heating stove

    Fuel oil: This fuel is identical to the gas oil of diesel cars, resulting from oil refining. Made of steel and cast iron, the oil heating stove is equipped with a burner that drives the combustion of fuel oil. It allows the emission and quick diffusion of heat. The installation of this stove requires a connection to a flue. It is able to heat large spaces; however, as with many heaters, it is important to remain vigilant to avoid poisoning. Carbon monoxide detectors will prevent this risk. Fuel cans, which can be dangerous, should be stored in a separate room.

    • Avoid older models as they can be unsafe and less efficient.
    • Can reach 86% efficiency.

    ZANTIA biomass heating stove

    Biomass: Biomass comes from elements of the Earth including leaves, straw, manure, nut shells, kernels of cherries and more. It is an inexhaustible source of energy that comes from living matter. It pollutes much less than traditional fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

    • Ecological and renewable
  • What materials are heating stoves made of and which one should you choose?

    Made from steel, cast iron or ceramic, heating stoves offer roughly the same qualities of performance, autonomy and lifespan. The differences are mainly aesthetic. On the other hand, heating stoves made of soapstone or firebricks, which accumulate heat and release it slowly, are significantly more effective.

    Today, steel heating stoves are of good quality and as strong as cast iron, but they are more subject to deformation when overheated. The heat will rise less quickly from a cast iron stove than from steel; however, the heat will continue to diffuse longer once the fire is out.

    A heating stove covered with materials that store heat (soapstone cladding, for example) will further increase the heating duration of the unit—but at a higher price.

    A masonry heater will go a step further. Usually made of soapstone, ceramic or ceramic and stone, it distributes heat almost exclusively by radiation (the ideal heat source) for 12 hours or more. It’s a costly investment; the device is heavy and bulky, but it provides quality heating.

  • Where to place the heating stove?

    Location and security are closely related. Rooms such as the kitchen or living room will generally have an evacuation duct, and most heating stoves will need one. Always choose a location that respects the safety distances from flammable materials, with the least possible hindrance to evacuation exits. The technical instructions for each heating stove model indicate the distances to be respected (generally 1.20 m). However, it is possible to reduce these differences by installing non-flammable walls. The chimney must be at least 40 cm above the ridge for sloping roofs and 1.2 m for flat roofs.

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