I want to use a wood stove as a primary heat source. Which stove gets the most heat out of a cord of wood?
Like everything in the field of energy conservation, both wood stoves and how we burn wood has evolved a lot in just the last decade. A low-smoldering fire produces a lot of smoke, wastes energy, and can be downright hazardous. Just because a load of wood lasts a long time when smoldered does not mean it is burning efficiently. The smoke in the chimney is like throwing away firewood, and worse, it can lead to a dangerous chimney fire. You can reduce smoke emissions and wasted energy by burning smaller, hotter fires. Split your wood a little smaller and put less in at each loading. Make sure the wood is flaming brightly until it is reduced to charcoal. You will get more heat from your firewood this way, and you will not risk having a chimney fire. A certified low-emission stove (certified to EPA or CSA B415) uses firebox insulation, a large baffle, and super-heated combustion air jets to burn the wood completely before it leaves the firebox. Have the dealer choose one whose size matches the size of your house. You'll find a certified and properly-sized stove much easier and economical to use, and you'll get more heat out of each cord of wood.