Outdoor wood stoves can be an efficient way to heat a home cheaply. The cost of a wood burning furnace can be less than a quarter of the cost of gas or electric heat. The investment for an outdoor wood stove can be great. Knowing how long they last, and which type is best for your situation is crucial if you expect to get a return on the investment. A typical wood stove can last 30 years or more. There are some factors that can increase or decrease the overall life.
If you are looking for a wood stove to provide supplementary heat, you can stand to have a smaller outdoor wood stove. If you are planning on using this as a primary source for heating, it needs to be the correct size. Using a small wood stove for larger purposes will drastically decrease its life. It's well worth the money to invest in the correct size up front than have a wood stove that only lasts a few years.
As with any other major appliance in your home, your outdoor wood stove will require regular maintenance. Basic maintenance, such as off season cleaning, can be done on your own. Every few years a professional should be dispatched to do a thorough check of the entire system. This can add several years of life to your investment.