Disadvantages & Advantages of a Wood Stove

Written by marisa swanson
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Disadvantages & Advantages of a Wood Stove
A wood stove's fuel is an alternative to electricity or gas (Fire wood image by ILonika from Fotolia.com)

A wood-burning stove uses renewable resources, heats a home and is an alternative to electricity or gas for cooking. Consisting of a solid metal fire chamber, a grate and a flue, it's a design focal point in the main area of the home. There are many positive aspects to a wood-burning stove, but several drawbacks also.

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Cost Advantages

Wood stoves are highly efficient and much cheaper to run than an electric or gas heating system. Wood is relatively cheap, whereas the cost of running electricity and gas through the home is affected by a third party that marks up the price, based on market conditions. A modern, efficient, wood stove can reduce your heating costs up to three times compared with a boiler or furnace. There are few better ways to save money running your home than installing a wood stove.

Aesthetic Advantages

Wood stoves should sit in the room most used by the family, a central location in the home. Modern building make homes more efficient in retaining heat, so a wood stove should be able to heat your home from a central location. They many wood stoves on the market come in various sizes, colours and functions. A wood stove can be a decor element to your home and a conversation starter. They give a warm and cosy atmosphere on cold days and nights.

Green Advantages

Concern over the health of our planet and the need for renewable energy sources continues to grow. Wood stoves are a way to make your home "green", or environmentally friendly. As wood is burnt it releases carbon dioxide into the air, but this actually is part of a balanced carbon cycle, because that same wood took carbon from the air to grow and live. When man-made machines emit carbon dioxide into the air there is no balance, due to the high level of carbon emitted.


The biggest disadvantages for wood stoves are sourcing your wood, storing it and putting it into the chamber. Depending on how often you plan to use the stove, this could be a minor inconvenience or a big obstacle to owning a wood stove. You can buy wood and chop it into logs, which then have to be split. Wood must be as dry as possible to use for fuel, which means that it needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. Many people with wood stoves have wood boxes next to the stove, but that is only for immediate use. You'll want to have more wood than that saved up. If you chop your own wood, it will need to be dried out for several months before it is ready to use. Putting wood into the fire is not a problem for a healthy adult, but if you are old or infirm this can be a challenge.

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