A freestanding stove is a great addition to any cabin or cottage. Freestanding stoves add unmatched warmth, comfort and heating capacity while also creating that atmosphere that is quintessentially cabin – nothing beats sitting in your cabin and staring at the fire. But which freestanding stove is right for YOUR cabin? There are so many styles and types to choose from; this guide will give you a brief breakdown of the different styles of stoves, fuel types available, and the benefits of each.
Step 1: Choose Your Fuel Type
Cabin Friendly Wood Stoves
Wood-burning stoves are the most popular for cabins and cottages. For hundreds of years, freestanding wood stoves have been used to heat off-the-grid cabins and vacation properties. Due to the remoteness of these locations and the usual abundance of wood, Wood stoves are a favourite for heating cabins. Nowadays however there are multiple different types of wood-burning stoves, the most common being non-catalytic and catalytic wood stoves.
Non-Catalytic Woods Stoves & Your Cabin
A non-catalytic wood stove uses air tubes and super-heated oxygen to mix with and generate a secondary burn with the gasses and particulates released from burning wood. This results in fewer emissions and greater efficiency.
Key Benefits of Non-Catalytic Wood Stoves
- Easy Operation
- Highly Efficient
- Mid-Long Burn Times
- 2020 EPA Certified
- 96% Reduction in Emissions
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Non-catalytic stoves are well suited to someone looking for a straightforward, traditional wood-burning stove. Things to consider for non-catalytic stoves are whether you use your wood stove for supplemental heat, do not live in an extremely cold climate, only use your wood stove occasionally, or want to prioritize straightforward operation over burntimes. In addition, these units are better suited to rental or holiday homes as operating them is very straightforward.
Hybrid-Catalytic Wood Stoves & Your Cabin
A catalytic wood stove uses a catalytic combustor to re-burn the gasses and particulates that are released from the burning wood. These gasses pass through the catalytic combustor, which operates at very high temperatures, and combust – providing increased efficiency, fewer emissions, and longer burn times.
A hybrid catalytic wood stove uses both air tubes and a catalytic combustor to burn the gasses and particulates three times – resulting in extremely efficient fires, very limited emissions, and the longest burn times. After initial combustion, the gasses and particulates from the burning wood are mixed with super-heated air and combust a second time. After secondary combustion the remaining gasses and particulates are funneled through the catalytic combustor where they are then ignited for a third and final time, removing virtually all particulates and gasses.
Key Benefits of Hybrid-Catalytic Wood Stoves
- Very Long Burn Times
- Stable Heat Output
- 2020 EPA Certified
- 98% Reduction in Emissions
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Industry Leading 10 Year Catalyst Warranty
Catalytic stoves/Hybrid catalytic stoves are ideal for serious wood burners who are seeking longer, overnight burns. If you live in a very cold climate and/or are using your unit as the primary heat source in your home or if you are an eco-conscious consumer looking for the lowest emission wood-burning product available a hybrid catalytic wood stove will be your best fit.
Cabin Friendly Gas Stoves
While lots of people like the look and feel of a traditional wood-burning stove, many don’t want the effort that goes along with splitting, stacking, chopping & hauling wood as well as building and maintaining a wood fire. Luckily there are freestanding gas stoves that give the same look feel, warmth & ambience of a wood stove, but with the convenience of gas. Freestanding gas stoves come in a variety of styles including contemporary, modern, traditional & cast iron so you can replicate the charm, style and beauty of a wood stove without the need for wood!
Natural Gas Freestanding Gas Stoves & Your Cabin
If you have a natural gas line running to your property this is likely the best option for adding a gas stove to your cabin. Natural gas lines are rare in some parts of the country and in the vast majority of “cabin country” so chances are this is not an option for you. Luckily, all Regency gas stoves can be converted to run off liquefied propane as well using a simple conversion kit.
Propane Freestanding Gas Stoves & Your Cabin
Propane is the most common gas used when installing a gas stove in your cabin. Typically an existing propane tank or infrastructure will already be set up prior to the purchase of a stove, but if not you can install a large propane tank (likely a 250-500 gallon tank depending on usage) that will sit on your property and provide storage for the propane used to heat your house.
Step 2: Find Your Size
Standard Wood Stove Square Foot Heating Capacity
- Small Wood Stove: less than 500 sq. ft.
- Medium Wood Stove: 500 - 1,000 sq. ft.
- Large Wood Stove: 1,000 - 2,200 sq. ft.
- Extra-Large Wood Stove: 2,200+ sq. ft.
Note: this is simply a benchmark. A wood stove's actual heating capacity will vary dramatically based on a high number of factors, see below for more details, and always discuss sizing and installation with an Authorized Regency dealer.
Factors Affecting Wood Stove Heating Capacity?
There is a wide variety of factors that can influence the heating capacity of your wood-burning stove, some of these include:
- Ceiling Height - The total volume of the room can drastically change the heating capacity of a wood stove
- Insulation - Older poorly insulated homes will decrease the heating capacity of a stove, whereas new highly insulated homes may increase the capacity of the stove
- Number of Windows - Windows (even dual-pane) are a source of cooler air, and the more windows in a home/room, the greater the obstacle to the stoves heating capacity
- Room/Wall Layout
- Open rooms vs. homes with lots of walls will affect how effective the stove is at heating an area
- Type of Wood - The type of wood you are burning will produce a variety of different BTU’s – see the highest BTU wood types here
Step 3: Contact Your Local Fireplace Dealer
Did you know that all fireplaces need to be professionally installed to ensure safe and efficient operation? Many people think they can install them all by themselves, especially in their cabins. All gas appliances need a licensed gas fitter to hook up the gas lines, and modern EPA-certified wood stoves are very precise combustion systems. Failure to install a wood stove correctly can result in poor burn times, inefficient burns or dirty burns that release too much particulate matter into the atmosphere, or an increased risk of fire.