Published on February 16th, 2011 | by ziggy21
Small Wood-Burning Stoves For Small Homes: A Review
Wood stoves are a highly economical way to provide heat for your home if you have access to a woodlot or live in a remote or rural area. To get the most bang for your buck, you should invest in a clean(er)-burning, efficient model. Last year, I spent a fair amount of time researching small, efficient wood-burning stoves for my tiny house, and narrowed it down to two models that I thought were most appropriate.
Here’s what I looked at, and what I eventually decided upon for my small wood stove solution.
Contender 1: The Jøtul F 602 CB
The Jotul 602 has been a popular stove model for years, as it is very small and fairly efficient, with a capacity to heat up to 800 square feet of space. It is EPA-certified and is marketed as “over 75% efficient”, although the EPA’s official document lists it as more like 63% efficient by default, although I suppose careful burning can result in more efficient heat. (This percentage efficiency means that you will basically capture and make use of 63% of the heat of the wood that you burn.) To note, the highest efficiency stoves top off at about 78% default efficiency, but those are usually larger models with catalytic converters that create a secondary burn, an option that is not available in tiny wood stoves.
Anyway, the stats available on the Jotul 602 are as follows:
- Maximum heat output: 28,000 BTU/hr
- Heating capacity: Up to 800 sq.ft
- Max log length: Up to 16″
- Over 75% efficient
- Burn time: Up to 5 hours
- Flue outlet: Top, and rear
- Flue size: 6″ (w/standard adapter)
- Weight: 160 lbs.
- Accessories: Fire screen, Rear heatshield
- Alcove approved for both the US and Canada
- Fully functional cookplate
- 5 year limited warranty
The Jotul is a nice option, but lacks a decent viewing window, and is not lined with firebrick, which helps to hold heat for longer periods of time. Compared to the Morso 1410 (see below), however, it does have a larger surface area for cooking purposes. Also, another plus is that it can take fairly large logs (up to 16″ long) for its size, which means you’ll spend less time cutting wood to length.
Contender 2: Morso 1410 Squirrel
This thing is tiny. On an aesthetic level, I like the Morso 1410 much more than the Jotul. It’s got a nicer viewing window and a great squirrel relief on either side of the stove. One drawback is the short maximum log length: only 12″! That means more cutting. Official Morso 1410 stats read as follows:
- Maximum Heat (BTU/hr): 30,000
- Heat Output Range – lab. test (BTU/hr): 9,5862-22,018
- Test Fuel Load: 5.15 lbs
- Particulate Emissions: 3.3 grm/hr
- Log Size: 12″
- Max. Area Heated: 1000 ft²
- Firebox Dimensions: 12¼”W x 10¾”D
- Firebox volume/capacity: 0.736 ft³
- Gross Weight: 215 lbs
The Morso claims to heat a slightly larger space than the Jotul, and I personally like the square dimensions more than the longer, rectangular nature of the Jotul 602. It also has a slightly lower emissions rate, making for a cleaner burning stove.
I went for the Morso 1410 based on its aesthetics, the dimensions, and its lower emission rate. Both have an MSRP of $1000, so there is no difference in price (unless you can wrangle a better deal locally, which is possible). Plus, Morso uses 80% renewable energy to produce its stove, and 98% recycled cast iron and 100% recycled content packaging. Not bad.
Click here for my full review of the Morso 1410 Squirrel wood stove.
And for a complete list of EPA-certified wood stoves, view this PDF. Useful!