Homemade Wood Stoves
Homemade wood stoves are not as common as they used to be. The reason is that today's EPA certified stoves are much safer and more efficient than a homemade unit.
Reasons against building a wood stove
So you're a good welder, self-sufficient and you think that it's time to build your own wood stove. Well, let me attempt to change your mind. Here are some reasons that building your own stove isn't a good idea:
Wood stoves are expensive for a reason -they have complicated combustion systems that took both time and money to develop. Today's EPA certified wood stoves are a lot more advanced than the wood stoves being produced 40 years ago. Today's units are more efficient than ever and have advanced secondary combustion systems that you won't be able to duplicate with a homemade welded box.
Chances are that your homemade wood stove won't be up to local building/fire code. Depending on where you live, using this wood stove may not even be legal. And if it is legal, good luck with your insurance premiums. If your insurer is willing to cover the homemade stove, your premiums are likely to go up.
Not Cost Effective in the Long-Term
The efficiency of a homemade wood stove is likely to be close to half of an EPA certified stove. Over time, especially if you're heating your home, you'll lose money in the extra amount of firewood that you'll have to burn.
Will your homemade stove be the focal point of your living room? No offense, but it's probably going to look pretty ugly. Most of today's stoves have glass doors so that you can enjoy watching the fire and ensure that it is burning efficiently. It's a much better set-up.
But it's not for my home and I want to save money
I understand that if you're only looking to heat a shop or garage, it's difficult to justify the expense of a newer EPA certified wood stove. After all, they are expensive.
In that case, I recommend buying a used wood stove manufactured from a reputable company. The only reason for this is at least you'll know that the stove is safe to use. It's still a relatively inexpensive option. If you need to save more money, do it in the long-run by cutting and processing your own firewood.
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