With these top 10 wood-burning fireplaces, you will look forward to enjoying the winter with your loved ones over a warm cup of coffee or chocolate.
This article is for you, if you are the kind of soul who:
- Prefers the good old golden glow of the hearth to be your ally on cold winter days.
- Wants to let yourself be allured by the crackling sound of the wood and the smell of the smoke.
- Likes the warmth of the embers over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
Wood burning stoves need bulks of logs for burning and need a chimney to let out the smoke. Unlike other fireplaces, these stoves heat the place more directly and have more heat output comparatively.
There is a huge demand for wood-burning stoves in the market today and a good number of varieties are available varying in design, technology, size, material, etc. More than a fireplace it has now become a fine piece of décor adding to the ambiance of any room that is placed. So when it comes to buying the right one, the job can be a bit difficult.
Luckily you’ve come to the right place because in this review we’ll give you 10 of the best wood-burning fireplaces and the best guide to help you pick the best one for you.
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Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces
1. Drolet HT3000 Wood Stove Fireplace
Your search for a big wood stove ends with this XL-sized stove. Drolet HT3000 is one of the largest high-efficiency wood-burning fireplaces available in the market.
It will burn up to ten hours without requiring a refill and can heat an area of 2,700 square ft. sufficiently. This extremely reliable, easy to maintain fireplace is noted for
- 77% Efficiency – The stove has been rated 77% at efficiency level by EPA, which makes it one of the top high-efficiency wood stoves.
- 4 Cu. Ft. Firebox – The firebox size of Drolet HT3000 is 3.5 cubic ft. which can hold a good pack of logs that are up to 22 inches long.
- Ash Drawer – The ash drawer beneath its chamber makes cleaning up your fireplace an easy job.
2. US Stove Company SR57E Rancher Cast Iron Stove
Are you planning to put up a fireplace in your log cabin? If yes, this wood-burning fireplace is suitable for you.
It has heavy-duty cast iron materials. Plus, it is capable of heating an area that’s up to 1,000 sq. ft. which is not bad for a stove.
You’d also like that it’s capable of accommodating logs up to 23 inches in length. This model has also a safety handle and a cooktop surface included. Its standards are EPA-approved.
We also thought you would find its appearance appealing. Knowing its inclusions and capabilities, this could be a pretty great deal and worthy fireplace.
3. Drolet Escape Fireplace Wood Insert Model# DB03137K
If you are looking for something that could upgrade your old fireplace, this one is a great model.
Its size is 29” x 44”. It has a black faceplate and the blower attached to it is premium quality.
What you’d love about this item is it’s capable of running fires for a long time. A single load can last for up to 8 hours.
So, if you need to feel warm by night, this is highly ideal. The heat would not suddenly run out and disrupt your comfortable sleep.
This fireplace insert also has an aesthetic look. If you installed it, it would perfectly give your living room a great ambiance.
4. Timberwolf Economizer EPA Wood Burning Fireplace Insert
Timberwolf Economizer was mainly on top because of how sleek and amazing its looks are. Certainly, it can compete among our Top 10 wood-burning fireplaces. But aside from that, the performance of this fireplace insert is also great.
It’s easy to install and it complements most, if not all, chimney types. In fact, it does not take that much space, it can be neatly mounted on your walls.
Though compared to the listed models above, this insert could only accommodate up to 18-inch logs. Despite that, this insert is still guaranteed to provide a great 8 hour burn time.
Efficiency-wise, you also would not have a problem as it’s really cost-effective in the long run.
5. Drolet Escape 1500-I Wood Insert
If you are looking for something that has superb performance and is an affordable upgrade at the same time, consider taking a peek at this Drolet insert fireplace model.
The look is quite tempting. You’d know how pretty the ambiance and sleek the touch it could provide to your outdated fireplace.
You may want to know that this particular item is equipped with secondary combustion systems that are quite rare in wood-burning inserts.
If you are an environmentalist, you will love to hear this. This insert exudes a low carbon footprint if you compare it with other models.
Lastly, there are goodies included. It has an inclusive black faceplate as well as a blower, so no need to purchase these things separately if you want one.
Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces: More Choices
6. Sunjoy A304001200 Atticus Wood Burning Fireplace
We present you another good deal for the outdoor wood-burning fireplace category. This model is undoubtedly an ultimate game-changer.
The elegant copper color complements whatever theme it is you are going for in your yard.
If you install this outside your home, we think you’d spend more time outdoors. It really adds up to the relaxing ambiance along with the comfortable warmth you’d get from a fireplace.
It has shelves on both sides of the fireplace. Thus, decorating it with outdoor adornments to make it even more gorgeous is possible.
Storage underneath the fireplace is also available, a great place to store stuff like tools and whatnot.
We’d also like to point out how easy the cleaning for this fireplace is. It has a removable grate so you can effortlessly clean up the ashes and build up.
It wouldn’t be surprising if your backyard becomes your favorite spot at home.
7. Drolet Wood Stove On Pedestal
Model Escape 1800 – Black Door DB03102
Another highly efficient model from Drolet. A wood-burning fireplace that can accept logs that are up to 20 inches long.
The model has an included top heat exchanger allowing you to take full advantage of the optional blower.
In terms of safety, this model does not disappoint. It’s designed to have a lower clearance so that the combustible materials would not cause any harm.
This stove can heat areas within 500 to 2,100 sq. ft. with a maximum burning time of eight long hours.
Installation and mounting are fairly straightforward, so that would also be one less thing to worry about. Way to go Drolet!
Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces:
8.Uniflame Firehouse with Chimney
If you don’t want to go for the usual fireplaces, take a look at this firehouse. Unique when you compare among the Top 10 wood-burning fireplaces in this review, it has a little chimney which honestly, looks great.
The best part about this is you can have a 360 degrees view of the fire. It can be mounted inside the house but putting it outdoors would not be a bad idea, as well.
Although, if it is inside your home, make sure to mount it in a strategic area to prioritize safety and comfort.
You don’t have to worry about safety since the firehouse is designed with an enclosure. This will protect the stuff around it from flying sparks.
One thing we find exciting about it is that it includes a cooking grate, chrome plated. Plus, the ash receiver is removable so cleaning it will not be that difficult.
9. Sunjoy Heirloom Slate Wood Burning Fireplace
A gorgeous rust-resistant wood-burning fireplace with powder-coated black steel and a hint of bronze for highlights.
This thing wins the classic look and touch. Though, we think it looks better on the patio and gardens.
It really adds up to the beauty of your outdoor spaces, especially at night. Its luminescence sets the mood during cold siesta nights where you hold a glass of cocoa or wine.
It’s also enough to make you feel warm and all snuggly.
The quality would not disappoint you as well. Most customers agreed that it has high quality and heavy-duty features. It’s easy to assemble too.
10. BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Chimenea
Last but not the least, a wood-burning chiminea with a very appealing shape. It has a size of 22” x 45.7.
It’s very durable with four cast iron legs to support its weight and mounting stability. Although it is an outdoor fireplace, you’d be happy to know that the smokes are funneled in an upward direction. No stingy eyes.
You also have a 360-degree fire view, if you have friends or family with you, everyone can enjoy and admire the beauty of flames.
Assembling this pretty thing is not that difficult too, so that’s always a positive. No wonder there are numerous positive reviews for this model.
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Before you light up the first fire of the season there are a whole lot of things you need to know about wood-burning fireplaces. Here’s a complete buyer’s guide to help you.
How to Select from our Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Do not let those many products and consumer options available in the market leave you in a dilemma.
Going for the most sought-after or the most expensive one wouldn’t be a good idea.
The price doesn’t always reflect the quality of the product as you can assume. The best wood-burning fireplaces for you is the one that suits your home and chimney the best.
Here are certain things that will help you figure out what makes a fireplace good enough.
Make sure you consider the following features of wood fire furnaces before you make up your mind.
The first thing to check when you are in store to buy a wood-burning fireplace is whether it is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA-certified fireplaces are emission tested and meet a set of requirements set forth by EPA.
- The certified stoves will burn more cleanly and efficiently than the uncertified ones.
- These stoves burn more completely using the provided wood. That is you get the maximum heat out of the wood and less smoke.
- The emission of airborne particles will be less ensuring a safe atmosphere.
- Also, there will be less creosote which is a byproduct of burning wood that can build up in the chimney and cause a fire.
However, the efficiency level of EPA stoves also depends on the wood used for burning.
The use of substandard woods may affect performance and heat output. It’s important to make sure of the quality of the wood being used.
It will save you time, money, fuel, and resources.
The most wood stove has its heat capacity marked in British Thermal Units (BTU). By definition, it is the overall capacity to heat a space.
That is, the BTU of a specific stove denotes its heat output per hour.
The BTU rate of all the popular stoves falls in between the 24,000 to 80,000 range. The larger the BTU, the more capability it has to heat large spaces.
An average medium-sized house needs only 5,000 to 20,000 per hour in the case of continuous burning.
Using the full output of a stove for a long period can damage the stove’s innards.
Which Combustion Technology to Opt for?
There are two combustion technologies available; catalytic and non-catalytic combustion.
- Catalytic combustion can produce a long and steady heat output. At the operational level stoves using catalytic combustion are a little complicated. These burning fireplaces need proper maintenance and with careful use, they can last more than six years.
- Non-catalyst combustion is preferred because of the high heat output and the beautiful fire they hold. The internal parts of the ‘non-cats’ need replacement from time to time as they deteriorate with heat easily.
To pick the better one is a bit difficult; both proved to be equally effective and will burn up about 90% cleaner when compared to traditional conventional stoves.
However, the market trends are slightly in favor of non-catalyst stoves.
Most manufacturers care to specify their burn time as per the EPA test.
Burn time refers to the length of time a specific stove can burn with one full load of logs.
Longer burn time ensures quality fire and saves you the time you need to find to keep up the fire or refill the firebox.
However, the burn time largely depends on the quality of the wood used for burning.
It is advised to use ‘seasoned wood’ that has been cut and dried before 6-12 months. The seasoned wood will have the very least moisture content that will help in clean burning.
Using green wood will lead to spoiling the fireplace, chimney, atmosphere, and lungs as well. The split logs burn more efficiently than whole logs.
What is the Ideal Log Length?
The length of the log that you can use for burning depends on the size of the firebox and varies from one stove to another.
Generally, the long length of a particular stove will be mentioned by the manufacturer.
The standard length for firewood is 16 inches, which is practical for handling. However, some stoves offer up to 22 inches.
The larger log lengths are convenient as it spares you from splitting the logs over and again.
How to Select the Size of Fireplace?
The size of the fireplace must be chosen by house type, the size of the house, climate zone, and standard fuel.
It is important to choose the apt size because the heating capacity, burn time, etc varies with the size of the stove.
The major size in which wood burning fireplace comes is small, medium, and large.
- Small stoves have fireboxes with a volume of less than 2 cubic feet and would be proper for large rooms.
- Medium ones come with a firebox volume between 2 and 3 cubic feet and are proper for small-to-medium-sized houses.
- Large stoves have firebox volumes greater than 3 cubic feet and are suitable for heating a large area or leakier houses.
It would be wise to seek the advice of an experienced stove dealer in your area, always.
Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces: Material-Cast Iron or Welded Steel?
Cast iron and welded steel are the two important material options available.
Since the heating performance is the same as those two materials, the decision should be made depending on the convenience and the cost.
- Cast iron fireplaces are mostly a work of art. It would fit in the home like a fine piece of furniture and would the job of heating your place. It is of premium price and needs to be rebuilt every few years to seal the joints between the panels. If not rebuilt, there are chances for air leakage which will cause the fire to burn out of control.
- Welded steel stoves are comparatively of low cost. And it is plainer. Steel stove makers leave you with the option that their highly stressed internal parts are replaceable.
Installation and Running Cost
The price of the stove varies considerably from one stove to another. So its installation and running costs.
Installation costs add to the initial expenses significantly.
If you don’t opt for a stove that goes with your chimney, getting the chimney right for the stove can cost just as much as the money you pay for the stove, if not more than it.
Most of the stove comes with a warranty of a limited lifetime and at least 5 years.
Most companies guarantee to replace the parts that are prone to damage within the warranty period. So check out which and which parts come with the warranty.
Running cost can be tricky to calculate.
The stove needs wood for burning. And as you know, wood is a bulky fuel and the cost involves transportation from the store to your place other than the price. It is best to buy in bulk and store for a period of time.
These are a few things to consider when buying a wood-burning fireplace.
Other features like whether the stove includes an ash pan, cooking surface, what kind of blower system and air inlets it features, and aesthetic matters like design, color, door frame, glass windows, etc. are to be considered if you are looking for a wood-burning fireplace that meets not just your heating needs but also the total ambiance of your home.
Thoughts on the Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces: Is Wood Burning Harmful to the Environment?
Unfortunately, yes it is.
- The smoke burning wood creates contains a complex mixture of gases and particles leading to particle pollution which may cause health problems.
- In addition to this air pollution is also caused by benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
- The improper use of the appliance may affect the quality of the air inside. If the wood is not burned completely, the smoke may contain several particles including Carbon Monoxide (CO). Studies indicate that more than 150 people die from CO poisoning caused by the improper use of home appliances every year.
So what should you do when you finally decide among our Top 10 wood-burning fireplaces?
Here are a few ways to ensure your safety as well as a safe environment:
- Installing a CO dictator and smoke alarm
- Using well-seasoned woods
- Maintenance of your fireplace from time to time
The secret to a green (or greener) fireplace is in how best you keep the hearth and chimney clean and safe, how responsibly you burn. What’s the best thing you can do here is to buy an EPA-certified fireplace.
We have explained at length about EPA Certification below. An EPA certification ensures complete burning of wood, thus minimizing the damage done to the environment.
Advantages of Wood Burning Fireplaces
The tedious task of taking care of conventional wood fire and the mess after is now easier because of technological advancement.
The gaining popularity of wood-burning fireplaces is proof that people find wood-burning fireplaces convenient and beneficial.
As compared to other heating appliances like gas or electric fireplaces, wood stoves are more efficient in heating the place directly and give a higher level of heat output.
- You wouldn’t have to endure another cold night if the electricity runs out or the boiler is broken. All you need is, some wood neatly packed in the log rack, ready to use, ready to use.
- There is a huge choice in design, heat output, size, compact, etc. to suit the varying needs of the customers who prefer wood-burning furnaces.
- The total ambiance of a wood fireplace; the dancing flames, the golden glow, the crackling sound of timbers, the subtle scent of the smoke, cannot be replaced by any other fireplaces.
- Moreover, it would make an amazing display to any interior. It is no lie that the aesthetic appeal alone makes people prefer wood-burning fireplaces over modern heating methods.
How to Find out Your Heating Requirements?
The stove that proves itself as the best in terms of efficiency or heating performance or the one that offers the longest burn time definitely will be a good stove. But on the other hand, it will not the best, or even the right, stove for you.
A stove that doesn’t match your heating requirements can either under heat or burn down your place, let alone the loss of money it can cause you.
So how do you find your heating requirements?
Most heating products come with their heat output and optimal area noted. You only need to see which wood-burning fireplace matches the best to the size of the space you need to heat.
Burning your stove at full blast constantly will cut down its performance in the long run. And yeah, unless the cold is hard and calls for it, you will not be burning the stove at its maximum all the time.
So it is a good idea that you add 25% extra to the total area and then look for the matching stove.
How to Keep These Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces Well Maintained?
- Install Smoke detector and Carbon monoxide alarm. Safety first!
- Keep the ashtray clean every once in a while.
- Burn seasoned woods for a clean and hotter burn. Avoid softwoods and moist logs that can cause pollution.
- Avoid burning at the stove’s maximum capacity constantly.
- Don’t use slow-burning woods. It expels more smoke.
- Make sure to safely close the opening to the firebox after you lit a fire.
- Have your fireplace inspected once a year by a certified sweep.
- Keep the glass windows clean and clear for a better view of the firebox.
- Never burn trash or any other material other than logs inside the fireplace.
- Has your log rack topped up from time to time? Make sure you never run out of wood and get stuck in cold.
- Do not keep the necessary repairs and replacements of fireplace pending.
- Keep the chimney clean of creosote and other build-ups.
Top 10 Wood-Burning Fireplaces: Did You Find the Perfect One for Your Home?
In short, buying a wood stove involves much thinking.
First of all, you have to be certain about:
- Your heating requirements like how much heat you need.
- How much space you need to be heated and if the wood stove is only a secondary heater etc.
- What type of chimney you have, how large is your home, etc
And then opt for the best wood-burning fireplace suiting your needs.
The stove that can meet your requirements and aesthetic sense is not very hard to find. Such a stove, more than being economical and cost-effective can potentially save you on wood, energy, money and time as time pass by.
Keeping the stove well-maintained is as important as choosing the right stove.
Cracks, leaks, warping, baffle gaps, and creosotes are unavoidable to a certain limit and can cause fire hazards. Regularly cleaning the ash out of your fireplace may take a bit of effort but you need to do it to maintain proper airflow.
Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can give you alarms in case of danger. It is important that the wood stoves and chimney are inspected by a chimney sweep or an experienced stove dealer at least once a year.
Proper upkeep your stove will ensure you clean and safe burning and will change the whole experience of the drastic cold season.
Be ready to sit back and be cozy this winter and the winters to come by investing in your wood burning fireplace wisely.