The price of a wood stove varies according to style, size and the amount of glass viewing area. Free standing wood stoves range from as little as $300 to more than $3000. Stove prices tend to increase with the size of the unit along with the extravagance of the molding, color, finish and size and design of the glass viewing area. Wood stove insert units, which fit inside an existing fireplace and use the existing fireplace chimney as a vent system, range in price from $800 to $2500.
Catalytic vs. Non-Catalytic Stoves
There are two types of wood stove – catalytic and non-catalytic. A catalytic stove traps smoke and other combustion by-products in a coated combustion chamber where they ignite at a much lower temperature than normally required. This increases the efficiency of the wood stove and allows much longer burn times while reducing emissions.
A catalytic stove offers higher efficiency heating, provides longer, more even heat and is often considered a better choice as a primary heat source. The catalyst will require regular cleaning and maintenance and generally needs to be replaced every five years. A catalytic stove costs about $500 to $700 more on average than non-catalytic wood stoves.
Non-catalytic stoves are easier to use, require less maintenance, and cost less. As a result, they are often recommended for use as a supplemental heat source.
Materials: Cast Iron or Forged Steel?
Wood stoves are available in two main material options – cast iron and steel. There is very little performance difference between the two, although cast iron may hold heat a little better. The main differences between the two are cost and aesthetics. Cast iron stoves are molded and often feature graceful curves, along with different colors and an enamel finish. Steel stoves are welded together, are plain in comparison and are almost always black. While a cast iron stove can hold heat longer, a steel wood stove tends to heat a room a little quicker than cast iron.
One difference between the steel and cast iron is the joints on a cast iron stove are sealed with bolts and caulk, often requiring maintenance to prevent leaks. Steel stoves, on the other hand, are welded shut.
Because cast iron wood stoves are more decorative and aesthetically pleasing they often cost 20-30% more than steel stoves.
The cost to install a wood stove can be as high as or higher than the cost of the stove itself, with average costs ranging from $450 to $1700. Much of this cost is for installation of the stove vent, which connects the wood stove to the chimney via stovepipe. The price will vary depending on the location and height of the chimney system. Stovepipe cannot be passed through walls or roofs. If your chimney already has an insert for a furnace or wood stove, installation costs will be much lower.
Purchasing a wood stove insert unit, while often more expensive upfront, costs less to install because it sits inside the fireplace and vents up through the chimney.
Newer wood stoves have pre-installed heat shields, protecting surrounding walls in tight areas, but additional shields can be purchased to allow adjustable clearance space. Your wood stove will need to sit on non-combustible material such as stone or cement. Non-combustible bases can be purchased for an average cost of $300 to $600.
Having your wood stove and chimney inspected annually is strongly recommended. Creosote buildup is very common with wood stoves and can lead to chimney fires if not checked regularly. If there is a buildup, the chimney will need to be cleaned.
In an effort to reduce pollution and improve air quality, wood stove changeout programs are being developed and implemented across North America. These programs provide consumers with financial incentives to replace older, high-emission wood stoves and other wood-burning appliances with cleaner, more efficient stoves and appliances. You can find more information about wood stove changeout programs here.
Find a Certified Heating & Cooling Professional In Your Area
Contact a top-rated local expert to help with all of your home’s HVAC needs.
Wood stoves are very simple to use: add wood, light it, stoke it, add wood as needed. But using the right wood – quality, seasoned wood – will help your wood stove burn cleanly and more efficiently. Most wood should be seasoned six months to a year before it is burned. Wet wood, also known as “green” wood, can cause smoking problems and increased creosote buildup.
Unless you own a wood lot, chances are you will need to buy the wood that you burn in your stove. Depending on your location, the price of wood can vary greatly. Most homeowners buy firewood by the cord, which measures 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.
One option to save money is to buy green wood in the spring and let it dry on your property. Firewood usually comes cut, split and delivered for one price. An average price for a cord of seasoned wood is between $250 and $300, and around $220 for green wood.
The amount of wood needed depends on factors such as the size of the wood stove, the quality of wood and how well the home is insulated. It’s common for homeowners in colder climates that use wood as their primary fuel source to go through 4-6 cords during the winter.