Wood Stoves Buyer's Guide
Freestanding wood stoves can bring a timeless elegance and warmth to virtually any room; matching almost any style from contemporary-minimalist, to the warmth and comfort of rustic or traditional design. You don’t need a fireplace to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a wood fire.
Regency’s wood stoves are designed to be beautiful while enduring rugged operating conditions and are backed by the industry’s most comprehensive, limited lifetime warranty. Regency manufactures a wide variety of wood burning freestanding stoves with different types, sizes and finishes. This buyer’s guide will help you select the right wood stove for your needs.
Benefits of Freestanding Wood Stoves
The benefits of owning a freestanding wood stove are plentiful. The easy installation is in part due to not needing an existing fireplace, and although there are specific clearance requirements, the wood stove is versatile in its placement, only needing floor protection and the ability to have a chimney installed.
Pictured: F2400 with Classic Black Door & CS1200 with Stainless Steel Side Panels
As they are wood burning and don’t utilize gas or oil, stoves reduce the dependency on high-priced, non-renewable home heating fuels and therefore have a low cost of ownership – with the main cost being firewood. Money can even be saved with a wood stove; turn the furnace down, utilize the zone heating it provides and watch your fuel bills shrink. And as with all other Regency products, wood stoves are manufactured by an exceptional team in a world class manufacturing facility. (More about Regency) Regency is so confident in the quality workmanship, fine materials and durable, heavy-duty construction that every product is backed by the industry’s most comprehensive Limited Lifetime Warranty.
How to Select Your Wood Stove
One of the first considerations when choosing a wood stove is the size of the stove you are looking for and the size of the room you are looking to heat. Small wood stoves are capable of heating rooms in the range of 600 square feet with large wood stoves being able to produce heat sufficient for rooms up to 3,500 square feet. The room configuration and ceiling heights will also factor into how large of space you are trying to heat. High or vaulted ceilings can dramatically increase the volume of the room and therefore impact the heating capabilities of a stove. Additionally, the type of stove can impact its heating characteristics; cast iron stoves take longer to come to temperature but tend to burn hotter while producing more heat for longer, compared to steel, which heats up faster.
A wood stove is as much about form as it is function; therefore the style of the stove and how well it would integrate with your home is an important consideration. Stoves can come in a multitude of shapes and sizes from the Ri50, a contemporary 3-sided bay unit, to the clean lines of the powder-coated steel of the Regency pro-series or the classic cast iron look; your wood stove becomes a focal point within the room and show piece.
Closely related to the design of the stove is the viewing area of the fire itself. Each Regency wood burning stove seeks to offer a large and unobstructed view of the fire, with some units boasting an impressive 20% greater viewing area than most traditional wood stoves. Some wood stoves include Regency’s Airwash system, which will help to remove build up on the glass as a natural function of the airflow within the stove during combustion. The Airwash system assists with decreasing maintenance and ensuring the best view of your fire, and has been thoughtfully integrated into the design of the stove – not added to the stove after the manufacturing process.
Ash is an unavoidable byproduct of wood combustion and therefore must be dealt with; ash drawers help to minimize mess and are easy to clean. However, a safety tip to keep in mind when vacuuming out the ash from the unit or ash drawer is to ensure the ashes are 100% cold to avoid destroying the vacuum or causing a fire hazard.
Regency wood stoves are designed to be easily loaded with doors that open 170° and are hinged on the right hand-side, so when the homeowner has their hands full of wood they can effortlessly open the door and load without fumbling. Most Regency wood stoves are also built to facilitate north-south loading (loaded into the unit straight, instead of being loaded sideways in the unit) which is not only safer, but tends to burn better as well. With the fireboxes being deeper than it is wide, logs can be easily inserted without having to rotate; loading this way also prevents the logs from being able to roll against the door.
Types of Wood Stoves: Catalytic vs. Non-Catalytic Stoves
Two main types technology within wood stoves are Non-Catalytic “2-Stage Burn” and Catalytic “3-Stage Burn”.
On a non-catalytic stove, the airflow in the firebox is directed in such a way that fuel is burned in 2 stages: once during the initial combustion, and again when smoke is re-burned. This 2-stage burn creates greater efficiency and a spectacular fire to look at, as well as resulting in cleaner emissions. A downside to the non-catalytic route, however, is that it’s unable to achieve the same high levels of efficiency and low levels of emissions as its catalytic counterpart – but they are still EPA certified.
Pictured: Non-Catalytic Wood Stove
In a catalytic stove an additional stage to burning is added; in stage 3 the remaining unburned gases are fed through Regency’s custom-designed catalytic combustor chamber. Boosting temperatures to over an astonishing 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the system delivers a balance of higher efficiency, cleaner combustion and maximum heat control – with less wood, less loading and less effort. However, one drawback to a catalytic stove is the additional step during the combustion process – opening and closing the bypass damper at the correct times. With proper wood burning practices the catalytic combustor can last up to 7-10 years and are easy to replace. Regency’s design of the catalytic combustor also evenly distributes the combustion evenly across the entire combustor increasing the lifespan of your catalytic combustor. To learn more about the triple stage burning, view the Regency Pro-Series Triple Stage Burn for more information.
Pictured: Catalytic Wood Stove
Environmentally Responsible Energy
All Regency wood stoves are tested and certified to the strictest clean air standards as set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means they release very little particulate matter into the atmosphere, less than 4.5 grams per hour. Regency engineers have carefully designed the firebox so airflow is possible around the wood, allowing it to burn more completely resulting in very little ash and almost no environmental impact. When comparing models, the white EPA labels can be compared – a lower g/h rating means a cleaner, more efficient wood stove.
As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; when trees die and are left to decompose or burn in forest fires, the carbon stored within the trees is released back into the atmosphere, once again as carbon dioxide. However, burning firewood produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as it has absorbed – this makes it carbon neutral. Wood is also a renewable, natural energy source. Well-managed forests are a renewable and sustainable source of energy that also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions along with our reliance on oil and gas.
Are you ready to take the next step? Contact an authorized Regency dealer today to help you find the perfect wood stove.
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