With the summer season slowly coming to a close and the cooler months ahead, there’s no better time to start considering how you can create a warm, cosy atmosphere in your home. Many of us are fond of the golden, flickering light and comforting crackling of a wood fire – it feels serene, inviting, and timeless.
While traditional fireplaces can be extremely appealing, they’re not always the most practical choice, especially when trying to heat a room effectively and safely. But if you don’t want to give up on the idea of having a blazing fire in your home, then you could definitely opt for impressively designed panoramic indoor wood heaters that have just as much charm and character.
What Are the Different Types of Wood Burning Heaters?
The main criterion for distinguishing indoor wood heaters is the way they’re installed. This largely depends on your home layout and the general décor style you want to create.
Built-In Wood Heaters
As the name suggests, these are installed directly into the wall and create a flush look with the surrounding surface. Their innate ability to blend in seamlessly makes them a visually striking choice for modern homes. Plus, as they don’t take up any floor space and can be installed quite low on the wall, they’re a practical choice when it comes to heating up smaller areas.
Bear in mind that the surrounding wall usually needs to be lined with fire bricks for safety reasons, and it’s best to have the heater professionally installed to ensure the heater meets the necessary clearances. In most cases, a built-in wood fire heater requires no additional venting as the heat is released out of the top.
Freestanding Wood Heaters
A standalone indoor wood heater is a great choice if you want more flexibility with the installation location. These models come with their own legs and can be moved around relatively easily, with some models even coming with integrated wheels for greater convenience.
While they’re not as sleek and stylish as their built-in counterparts, you can definitely find models with attractive designs that will add a touch of sophistication to any room. They come in round or rectangular shapes and can even be used as room dividers in places like studios or open-plan living spaces.
How Do You Choose a Wood Fire Heater?
Aside from the specific installation method, indoor wood heaters also differ in a handful of other factors that can influence their overall functionality and the way they’ll look in your home.
Room Size and Output
Naturally, you’d have to opt for a model that’s able to effectively heat the room you’re planning on installing it in. In most cases, this is determined by the heater’s output capacity measured in kilowatts (kW), so you need to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the most suitable size for your room.
Generally speaking, a 3-4 kW heater should be sufficient to heat up a room of up to 80 square metres, while 6-7 kW would work best for larger rooms of up to 140 square metres in size. You won’t necessarily have to stick with the exact size, but make sure the output is at least roughly in that range.
Make sure you measure the space and check the available dimensions of the device you like to ensure it fits in the desired location. Sometimes, it may be necessary to build out the wall for a built-in model if you need extra clearance.
Safety Requirements and Features
Even though indoor wood heaters are generally safer than traditional fireplaces, you’re still in contact with burning wood and open flames, so you need to make sure the model you’ve chosen has all the necessary safety features.
Look for ventilation and oxygen supply systems, as well as a glass door that’s resistant to extreme temperatures. The former helps keep the air circulating and prevents smoke clouds, while the latter will protect you from burning embers or sparks.
Moreover, you should make sure the model complies with the relevant safety standards and is certified by an accredited testing organisation. This is particularly important for built-in wood heaters as the wall material needs to be fireproof and able to resist high temperatures.
For freestanding varieties, you need to place them on a non-combustible surface and make sure they’re situated at least one metre away from any furniture. This is because the heat released can be quite intense and may cause damage if it’s not placed far enough away.
Maintenance and Care
Like all other heating systems, wood heaters need to be serviced and maintained on a regular basis for optimal performance. Cleaning the inside out is necessary, as is regularly replacing the filter and checking for any blockages in the ventilation system.
In addition, you’re expected to inspect the unit for any loose parts or damage and to ensure that the firebox is properly sealed. This could be anything from worn gaskets to corroded components. If you’re not comfortable doing the maintenance yourself, it’s best to contact a professional, as they’ll be able to make sure that everything is working correctly.
Even though these devices tend to blend into other furniture and home décor when installed, there are subtle differences in designs that can affect the overall look. For instance, if you’re going for a modern vibe to your living space, a built-in model with a glass door and clean lines would be the most reasonable choice.
On the other hand, if you’d like to add a bit of vintage charm to your home, freestanding heaters with intricate carvings and a rustic finish will be more suitable. Although they don’t usually look as polished and sleek as the built-in counterparts, they still have an undeniable elegance and appeal.