Gathering around a glowing fire frames some of the best memories shared at a cabin. If you are looking for ambiance, self-sufficiency and dependability, installing a wood stove is one of the best investments you can add to your cabin. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of adding a wood stove, how to choose the best one for your space and some recommendations for capitalizing on all the benefits of adding one.
Benefits of Adding a Wood Stove to a Cabin
Doesn’t Require Electricity
By adding a wood stove to your cabin, you can rest easy knowing your wood stove will keep your household safe and warm even in subzero temperatures without relying on electricity or gas lines.
Cost Effective and Fuel Efficient
With fuel prices of gas and oil skyrocketing in recent years, many are opting for renewable, cost-stable alternatives such as wood. Since wood is a renewable resource, it is not subject to price volatility the way gas and oil can be, especially if you are stocking up on free firewood from the woods around your cabin.
In comparison to other heating methods, such as electricity, oil or gas, heating with wood is a simple solution to reduce your carbon footprint.
Furthermore, all wood stoves on the market today are required to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified. The certification requires compliance with strict emissions and efficiency regulations designed to optimize heat output.
How to Choose a Wood Stove for a Cabin
There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to wood stoves. We are here to point you in the right direction to find the best stove to fit your unique needs. The following are key considerations to keep in mind:
The cost of a wood stove is influenced by a number of factors. Depending on variables such as heat output, brand and features, most stoves on the market cost $2,000 to $4,000, plus additional installation, venting and labor. Installation costs vary depending on the area of the home in which it is installed and the complexity of the installation; however, Quadra-Fire's network of certified local dealers are happy to provide an estimate of the total cost.
For those looking to upgrade their current stove, switch from another heating source or add a stove for the first time, the 2023 biomass tax credit is just one more incentive (among a long list of many other reasons!) to purchase a new wood stove. By installing a qualifying stove, you can receive a 30% tax credit up to $2,000, based on the full cost (purchase and installation) of the unit.
Size and Heat Output
The square foot space you are looking to heat, its insulation efficiency and your home's layout affect the size of the stove you will need. To determine the right size stove for your cabin, you will need to calculate the required British thermal units (BTUs). BTU—which is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit—is the measurement used to determine the heat output of a wood stove.
To find the right heat output needed for your space, calculate 20 BTUs for every square foot of heating area. For example, if you are heating a space that’s 1,500 square feet, you’ll want a stove with at least 30,000 BTUs. This number can change slightly due to factors such as your cabin’s floorplan, energy efficiency and climate. We recommend working with one of Quadra-Fire's certified local dealers to learn which stove is best for your space.
Get the most out of your fire by investing in technologies and efficiencies that elevate your fireside experience. With these features, you’ll spend less time maintaining your flame and more time relaxing by it. Additionally, trusted wood stove brands, such as Quadra-Fire, offer technologies built to extract the most heat out of your wood so you’ll spend less on fuel. That’s what we call a win-win.
- The Quadra-Fire® patented Four-Point Burn System burns and re-burns wood, gases and fumes four times. This technology keeps your fire going longer (nice for overnight burns) and produces steady, rolling flames with less wood.
- Automatic Combustion Control (ACC) makes start-up easy and gives you precise control to "set it and forget it." Load your wood, light your fire and resume creating more memories at your cabin.
Three Tips and Reminders for Adding a Wood Stove to Your Cabin
Whether this is your first wood stove or you are a wood stove pro, keep in mind these three recommendations to get the most out of your investment:
Stock up on Enough Wood
Stocking up on enough wood is essential to keeping your cabin safe and warm all season long. No two cabins are the same when it comes to heating. There are many different variables that affect how much wood you will need to sustain a cozy, safe cabin:
- Stove efficiency
- Heating area
- Type of wood
- Cabin insulation
When in doubt, it is best practice to over-prepare. If you are purchasing from a wood supplier, they will be able to help you to determine how much wood is needed. Otherwise, we recommend reading this guide to ensure your cabin will be properly stocked for this season.
Properly Store Your Wood
Once you determine how much wood you’ll need to sustain the winter cold, you’ll have to properly store your firewood. To keep your wood ready for the next burn, be sure to:
- Keep it off the ground
- Provide airflow
- Do not stack against your house
- Store outside
- Keep the wood dry
Ensure Cabin Efficiency
Ensuring your cabin is efficient extends the benefits of adding a wood stove to your hearth. Determine which areas of your cabin are prone to heat loss, such as drafty windows and doors, by performing a cabin energy audit. For areas where warmth is escaping your cabin, you can implement either a simple, temporary solution by caulking the outside gaps of your drafty areas or investing in a more permanent fix such as adding additional insulation or upgrading your windows and doors.
If you have areas of your cabin that are not used during the winter months, consider using the zone heating method. With this method, you only heat the spaces you spend the most time in, saving money and fuel.
Furthermore, you can extend your stove’s heat by adding an optional fan kit accessory that quietly spreads heat out into the room, serving as an inexpensive yet effective method to get the most out of your wood heat.
Popular Quadra-Fire Models for Cabins
Quadra-Fire Discovery and Millennium models are among the most popular wood stove models for cabins. These units come complete with Quadra-Fire's top features: the Four-Point Burn System and Automatic Combustion Control (ACC), eliminating hassle, saving time and extracting the most heat from your wood.
The Discovery series offers three different models, the Discovery I and Discovery II are best suited for smaller cabins of 1,000 to 2,600 square feet, whereas the largest model, the Discovery III, is designed for larger cabins of 1,100 to 3,000 square feet. All three models come equipped with Quadra-Fire's coveted technologies and offer ample firewood storage underneath the firebox, so you can spend less time hauling firewood into your cabin and more time relaxing in the glow of your wood fire.
The Millennium series also offers three models, the 2100 Millennium and 3100 Millennium are designed for small and medium spaces of 1,000 to 2,600 square feet, and the largest unit of the series, the 4300 Millennium, is equipped to heat large spaces of 1,100 to 3,000 square feet. These models are loved for their traditional style that pairs well with any cabin aesthetic. Equipped with the Four-Point Burn System and ACC functionalities, these models offer beautiful design with intense, reliable heat.
To learn more about adding a wood heat source to your cabin, we recommend visiting one of our local certified Quadra-Fire dealers. From purchasing to installation and maintenance, our network of dealers are here to make your wood stove dreams a reality.