Wood Burning vs Contemporary Wood Burning Stoves Wood Burning vs Contemporary Wood Burning Stoves

If you are interested in knowing more about wood burning versus contemporary wood burning stoves, you’ve come to the right source! Contemporary wood burning stoves are cost effective, better for the environment, and greatly prevent chimney fire risk. However, you may cherish the look of the traditional wood burning stove with its built-in brick façade and mantel. In any case, the following tidbits should help you decide which stove to install in your home.

Placement and Installation

Traditional wood burning fireplaces limit your placement options because they must be built into a wall, which might not even be possible, depending on your home’s wall structure. If it is possible, it might incur costly architectural changes. Only you can decide if installing a traditional stove is the right choice. If you choose a contemporary stove, you have more freedom of placement because you can place them up against the wall itself, which is more convenient and less potentially architecturally damaging.

Heat Distribution and Cost of Wood

When using a traditional wood burning stove, keep in mind that some of the heat gets lost by burning itself up or escaping up through the chimney. Don’t worry, though; you can reduce this loss by installing a chimney cap and a more enclosed face.  If you choose a contemporary wood burning stove, less heat is lost. In fact, some say that the overall heat in your home may increase by 1/3 since the air exhaustion and flow patterns are controlled. The less heat that is lost, the smaller amount of wood you will need, and of course, wood costs money as well. It’s important to think about the time, cost and energy needed to maintain either type of wood burning stove.  

Safety and Emissions

A traditional wood burning stove actually produces 90% more creosote (the greasy liquid in your flue) build up than a contemporary stove. You might also experience rain and snow leakage with a traditional, plus it has to be cleaned more frequently to eradicate debris. Additionally, a raccoon, squirrel, bat or other animal may at some point enter your home through the chimney. Now, that might make for an exciting evening, but dealing with an unwanted guest is something that most home owners will want to avoid. A contemporary stove’s flue is automatically built so that you do not need to worry about visits from night creatures. And, the materials are stronger so they crack less often and are cheaper to repair when they do.  Cleaning costs are about 40% less for contemporaries as long as you follow your maintenance guidelines. 

Hopefully you are now better prepared to make a decision about what type of wood burning fireplace best suits your needs. Whichever one you choose, know that it will increase the comfort level of your living room, family room, or basement rec room—or wherever you else you choose to place a wood burning stove. Additionally, you will be effectively creating a new, cost effective source of heat in your home, and you can’t argue with that!

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!