That’s because the stove was too large for the room it was in. A stove that’s “too big for its britches” forces you to shut down the bypass and air control, thus reducing the air supply into the stove. When you reduce the air supply, you decrease the stove’s efficiency, waste fuel, and the stove’s window turns black.
If you’re burning your stove hot enough, on the other hand, the window of your stove should never turn black, and your stove should hold the fire for 8-10 hours.
There are three types of wood stoves:
- Low heating capacity
- Medium heating capacity
- Large heating capacity
To determine which size is best for your space, run through the following checklist:
1. How much square footage do you plan to heat with the stove?
- If you need to heat only one large room, or a vacation home that you visit a few times per year, a small stove will do.
- If you plan to heat an entire floor or a 1-2 bedroom home, choose a medium stove.
- For a large home (or a moderate-size home in a cold climate), consider a large stove.
2. Where will the stove be located?
In what room – and what part of the room – will your stove be located? If possible, you’ll want the air to circulate into other areas of your home so the room the stove is in doesn’t get super-heated. A free-standing stove in the back corner of your family room might not allow for easy airflow into other rooms. In that case, purchasing a smaller stove to heat just the one room might be your best bet.
Even stoves with small heating capacities come in different dimensions, so you must precisely measure the space where your stove will go so you make sure it fits.
3. What will you use the stove for?
- If your wood stove is mainly for ambiance or as an emergency heat source during a power outage, choose a smaller stove.
- If you’re going to cook on your wood stove, you’ll want to investigate models that come with cooktops and warming surfaces.
- If a wood stove stove will be your home’s primary (or only) heat source, consider investing in multiple stoves so every area of your home stays toasty.
The sales consultants at any of Rich’s five Puget Sound showrooms – in Lynnwood, Bellevue, Southcenter, Tacoma, and Silverdale – will be happy to help you determine the correct stove size for your space and will point out several models that would be appropriate for your home.
Here’s a helpful video from our friends at Travis Industries, manufacturer of the Lopi, Avalon, and Fireplace Xtrordinair (FPX) brands of wood stoves: