Wood Stoves 101: What You Need to Know About Owning and Operating a Wood Burning Stove

Wood Stoves 101

There are a lot of benefits to updating or supplementing your home heating system with wood heat. From the cost savings and energy independence to the enchanting crackle and aroma of an ambient wood fire, it’s easy to see why a wood burning stove is an efficient, affordable, and cozy addition to your home.

Modern wood stoves come in a wide range of sizes, materials, and designs to fit your home or personal taste, and with current EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Standards required for all wood stoves on the market today, the efficiency and safety of wood burning stoves today are vastly improved. All these reasons together make now a great time to invest in your family’s comfort with a wood burning stove that will last for years to come.

What is a Wood Stove


From Forge & Flame: “A wood stove is a self-contained heating appliance that produces indoor heat using firewood as the fuel source to create warmth, ambiance and cost savings through a process called combustion. Wood stoves can have a range of burn times (depending on the size of the firebox), types/species of wood burned, wood moisture content, and size of the fuel load. They also range in lifespan. A high-quality wood stove will last between 10 and 20 years if it is properly maintained.

Wood stoves are a perfect investment for those who want the tactile and immersive experience of splitting wood and tending to a fire. In contrast, wood stoves might not be the best choice for those who want a set-it-and-forget-it fire-burning experience. (In this case, consider purchasing an electric fireplace or gas stove.)”


The average cost of a wood stove ranges between $2,000 and $5,000 for the price of the stove itself, depending on the stove’s size and features. However, a wood stove won’t work without the proper installation, including venting, labor, and parts required to operate. The final price tag of your project depends on your current layout and the complexity of the installation.

PRO TIP: The best bet to understand the projected cost of your wood stove installation project is to get a free estimate from our team by calling 978-355-6343 or clicking here. From there, you will give us a little information about your project, and you can choose a stove that fits your price range so you can see what your project will cost without all the hidden fees and guesswork.

Endeavor Wood Stove by Lopi


Determining whether a wood stove is the right heating solution for you comes down to understanding the benefits you are looking for in your home heating. Many wood stove owners purchased their stove to enjoy cost savings or energy independence. We’ve outlined a few pros and cons of owning a wood stove below.


Heating your home with a wood stove has many benefits, including:

  • Cost-Effective
  • Self-Sufficient Heat Source
  • Do Not Require Electricity
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Add Beautiful Ambiance


On the reverse side, there are some essential things to know about wood stoves that may be problematic without the right knowledge or proper planning.

  • Added labor by storing and/or chopping firewood
  • Wood stoves must be in a location with access to chimney and ventilation
  • Wood stoves require regular maintenance


To keep your wood stove fire burning brightly, regular weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance is required to ensure that your wood stove remains safe and fully operational. Aside from burning the proper fuel (seasoned, kiln-dried local firewood), there are several cleaning tasks you can do at home to make sure your stove is running at its full potential.


  • Remove ashes
  • Inspect fire bricks
  • Test the stove door and gasket
  • Check the door handle
  • Inspect the glass
  • Keep the chimney clear


  • Inspect the baffle
  • Deep clean the stove body
  • Inspect the blanket


  • Clean the vacuum fan
  • Inspect the chimney
  • Check smoke detectors

PRO TIP: You don’t have to do all the cleaning yourself! Book a yearly maintenance appointment for your wood stove with a team of professionals, like Higgins Energy Alternatives service team or your local dealer. We also highly recommend getting your yearly maintenance done in the off-season. It is not only cheaper, but you are more likely to find an appointment sooner, so you can beat the rush (and the wait times) before the heating season gets started and appointment dates fill up.

Hearthstone Wood Stove in a Living Room


Where would a wood stove work in your home? The most common places we see wood stoves added to residential homes are living rooms or family rooms and basements. The best thing to keep in mind is that a wood burning stove requires access to outdoor ventilation through a chimney pipe, so it’s best to add one where you feel comfortable adding a chimney to your home or where an existing chimney and open fireplace exist.

PRO TIP: Not sure where in your home is the best place to install a wood stove? Bring in some pictures of your home and a few locations you have in mind, and our team can help you figure out the safest and most accessible location for a wood burning stove in your home.


Like any major appliance purchase, there are several factors to consider that may influence your decision, and when it comes to choosing a wood stove, you should be conscious of the maximum amount of heat the stove can produce and how much heat your home will need.

From Forge & Flame: “The bigger the stove, the stronger the heat. The square feet of space you are looking to heat, your home’s insulation efficiency and layout affect the size of the stove you will need. Wood stove heat output is measured by British thermal units (BTUs), which is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want 20 BTUs of heat output for every square foot of space. For example, if you’re going to heat 2,000 square feet of your home, you should invest in a stove with a heat output of around 40,000 BTUs.”

If you’re willing to do a bit more math to determine the best size stove to purchase, it is helpful to look at the BTUs that the stove outputs. You can determine how many BTUs your space will need with the BTU Calculator from We Love Fire to find a stove that can meet your needs.

Wood Stoves at Higgins Energy Alternatives


Wood burning stoves are available to purchase right here at Higgins Energy Alternatives in Barre, Massachusetts. We sell dozens of wood stoves every year to homeowners throughout central Massachusetts and beyond, so you can trust that your wood stove purchase will be handled by a team of knowledgeable and friendly professionals.

After making the decision to purchase a wood stove, next comes the fun part! When you purchase one of our affordable, high-quality wood burning stoves, we have a simple 1-2-3 process to get your project completed simply and safely.

  1. Come in to visit our beautiful showroom to tell us more about your project and what you’re looking for in a wood stove. We’ll help you find the right model to fit your needs and give you a free estimate.
  2. We will schedule an in-home visit. During this visit, one of our certified, professional service technicians will take care of everything for you. Their job during the in-home visit is to confirm the details and final cost of your project, address any safety concerns, and answer your questions.
  3. Once everything is in place, the final step is to schedule your easy and safe wood stove installation. All you must do is sit back and relax while our certified in-house hearth service team installs your new stove quickly and safely.

PRO TIP: If you’re ready to make the switch to cost-saving wood heat, we’re ready to help you get started! Give us a call at 978-355-6343 to talk to one of our helpful sales associates or click here to get your free estimate.

Previous Post
Current Specials
Next Post
7 Tips for Storing Wood Pellets