Best Indoor Wood Furnaces – (2021) Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: September 5, 2021

Building a new house and want to install a quality heating mechanism to keep your family warm and comfortable?  

You cannot go wrong with a wood furnace. It is being used by many families for ages and has kept them cozy in their homes. 

This article will not only give you options but will also educate you on everything that you need to know about wood furnaces. 

Comparison of the Best Indoor Wood Furnaces

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Measures exhaust and adjusts the air accordingly
  • No tools required for loading and cleaning
  • Adjustable BTU during low-heat demand seasons
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  • Suitable for any home under 3,500 square feet
  • Can connect to any conventional air heating system
  • Reliable build ensuring full house comfort
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  • Best for the Money
  • Creates a beautiful, fireplace-like ambiance
  • Extremely efficient and has a maximum output of 110,000 BTU
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  • Excellent heating capabilities suitable for 2,000 square feet
  • Features increased burn time which saves time
  • Less time spent refueling the stove compared to other models
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  • Minimal resources with extended burning times
  • Has a secondary combustion system for less smoke
  • Very easy to install and operate
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Why Did These Indoor Wood Furnaces Make Our List?

The trust of our readers is something that we hold very dearly. Therefore, every product we recommend is selected from tons of other options and has been researched properly. Hence, rest assured that they are not only some of the best products available on the market but also have been reviewed very honestly. We have explained below how these wood furnaces made the cut:

Photo credit: thespruce.com

Heat Output

Your device’s heat output depends upon a variety of factors like the type of fuel used, its condition, the adjustments of the draft, thermostat settings, and the chimney in which it is installed. However, BTU reading provides a good general idea of its heat output. 

The models chosen here have high ratings for that. Not only that, but they also deliver on these readings and keep you and your loved ones warm.

Durability 

When you spend so much of your hard-earned money on buying a wood furnace to keep your family comfortable, you want to make sure that you extract all value for your money. There is no point in buying a heating mechanism if it needs replacing soon after it is installed. 

Therefore, all our recommended options have quality construction that will keep you warm for many years to come. Just take good care of them, and they will take good care of you. 

Value For Money

While the list has options ranging from affordable to pricier options, all of them give you value for money. This means that even if a pricier option is listed, it gives you features and quality that will justify that price. Similarly, the affordable ones might lack some fancy features but perform the primary function of heating very aptly. 

Review of the Best Indoor Wood Furnaces

Below is a list of some options that are truly worth your money. These products have been chosen after going through tons of options. They have been selected after passing a rather rigorous and stringent screening test. 

Best Overall

HeatMaster G Series

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What Recent Buyers Report

Customers have been huge fans of the HeatMaster G series, and all their models have received great appreciation. One thing that a lot of people were grateful for was that it saved them precious money in terms of heating bills when compared to other devices. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If we had to sum up all the tremendous qualities of the HeatMaster G series in just one word, then that would be ‘convenience.’ Maintenance and cleaning are not lengthy and complicated processes and are rather simple. This is something that a lot of customers demand, and they have delivered. 

Moreover, if maintained properly, it’ll last you for a long time. Furthermore, loading the logs into it is also pretty simple and doesn’t create much of a mess. Its water capacity is also impressive. Lastly, you are not restricted to just installing it for indoor use, but it can be installed for outdoor usage as well. 

Bottom Line

All the models in this line were so spectacular that we added the entire series to our list instead of just adding one. That speaks of their high quality and superior performance. They have tons of cool features like a smokeless loading handle that will make you fall in love with it. 

Pros

Fairly easy to use 

Highly reliable and durable 

Can be installed indoors and outdoors

Loading process is safe and not messy at all 

Allows for easy and hassle-free maintenance 

Cons

Not too durable as the welding starts to crack after a few uses

Runner-up

Royall 8150

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What Recent Buyers Report

While this is not the most popular brand out there, it surely has a lot of loyal customers. The Royall 8150 also has many admirers. People installed it as a primary and sometimes as a supplementary heating device and commented that it worked superbly. Many even had it for years and reported that they haven’t run into any major issues. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its performance, features, and ability to deliver on all its promises are what drew us towards the product. This furnace has a heating capacity of 150,000 BTU. This means that it is more than capable of acting as a primary heating source for an area under 3500 sq. feet. However, it can also be used alongside an already installed heating system. 

The device gives out consistent heat for as long as it is working. However, it achieves a comfortable room temperature rather quickly and then works to sustain that. Lastly, its firebrick lining makes the combustion more efficient and ensures that the product is safe enough to last for a long time. 

Bottom Line

Royall is a brand that can be trusted, and the Royall 8150 is a prime example of that. It is well-designed and well-built. Even though it might be a little pricey, it allows you to extract all value for your money as it is extremely durable. 

Pros

Features a full firebrick lining 

Has a quality powder-coated finish 

3500 square feet can be heated evenly 

Has a magnificent heating capacity of 150,000 BTU

Can easily be connected to any existing heating system

Cons

Not for those on a budget

Best for the Money

Drolet HT3000

Drolet HT3000 on pedestal - High-efficiency 2020 EPA certified wood stove DB07300 - The HT3000 succeeds to the HT2000

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What Recent Buyers Report

The Drolet HT300 has been rated very highly on various platforms and has received plenty of reviews, talking about its terrific performance. Many people have lauded its super burn time. They have also highlighted that if you load it well, it can last you a whole night as well. Overall, there’s very positive feedback for this product. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are actually a number of reasons why this product stood out to us. Firstly, its heat output is brilliant. It can heat up any space very evenly and make it comfortable regardless of the weather outside. This makes it suitable for all places and to be used around the year. 

Secondly, it doesn’t take a lot of time to heat up space. Its burn time is something that sets it apart from many of its competitors. Lastly, you can throw in relatively longer pieces of logs into it, and it still works pretty efficiently. If used and maintained properly, then it would prove to be a highly durable product. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a beastly heating device that comes at a staggering price. It gives you impeccable value for money, which is one of the reasons why it is so widely loved. We recommend this to all our readers, especially those who might be on a budget but still want a good heating capacity. 

Pros

Heats up space in a fairly short time

Doesn’t eat up copious amounts of wood 

Logs as long as 22 inches can be loaded easily

Has a splendid heating capacity of 110,000 BTU

Features a 1.32 g/h average particulate emissions rate

Cons

Coals do come out, so make sure you have floor protection

Conventional wood burner users might need some time to learn how to operate it

Ashley Hearth Products AW2020E-P

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What Recent Buyers Report

This furnace satisfied countless buyers who have spoken very highly of it. While people are generally wary of all the effort required to maintain a wood furnace, many have commented on how cleaning this one is super easy and is one of the reasons why they love it. Moreover, they have appreciated its heating abilities and the fact that it can heat up a 2000 sq feet area very easily. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It gives their customer a great overall experience, and this is why we love it so much. Operating this is very easy, and so is the cleaning process. Its ash pan is very helpful in that regard. It even rocks a sophisticated and trendy look and will look great in any setting.

Moreover, the construction quality is pretty impressive, so you can expect it to last you for a long time; the firebrick lining assists with that. The design is smart and well-executed, so it has a strong and sturdy build. 

Bottom Line

Like other Ashley Hearth products, this, too, is a remarkable one with very cool features. Its heat output, design, build, quality, and the time it takes to heat up the space are all phenomenal. Plus, coming from Ashley Hearth, it is bound to last for long. 

Pros

Has a heating capacity of 89,000 BTU 

Comes with an elegant and trendy look

Logs up to 21 inches in length can be loaded

Ensures long life and combustion efficiency as the firebrick is lined 

Features a big ash pan and a brushed nickel handle for convenient cleaning

Cons

Blower has to be bought separately

Doesn’t feature a catalytic burning mechanism

Cubic Grizzly CB1210

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have loved using this wood stove and have created very fond memories with it. They have reported how cooking on this gives their food a great smoky kick as compared to cooking on a gas stove. Moreover, they found neither its installation nor its use to be complex or complicated. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The overall construction and its environmental design stood out to us. It is hard to come across manufacturers who go the extra mile for healthy production in the industry, and Cubic Grizzly is one of them. It is eco-friendly, and its secondary combustion system produces very little smoke. This makes it not only healthy for the environment but also for the people around them. 

Its loading process is also pretty simple. While it can accept larger log pieces, moderately-sized logs will help with good airflow around the sides and would not damage the insulation in the interior. 

Bottom Line

If you’ve been looking for a quality indoor wood stove, then look no further as this is a wonderful option. It is environment-friendly, has a great heat output, and makes cooking not just more fun but more tasteful as well. 

Pros

Installation and usage are very easy 

Helps to reduce humidity in the room

Safer to use than diesel or propane cooktops 

Doesn’t produce excessive amounts of smoke

Removable rail which can give you a larger cooking area

Cons

Surface can get hot to the touch

Remains hot for extended periods even when turned off

How Does a Wood Furnace Work?

There are actually three types of wood furnaces in the market: indoor wood furnaces, outdoor wood furnaces, or ones that can be installed indoors and outdoors. However, since the article focuses on indoor wood furnaces, here’s how they work. 

They function similarly to forced-air furnaces that make use of other kinds of fuels. They use wood as fuel in a firebox and use the fire from that to heat air by means of a heat exchanger. However, the blower that regulates air and the ductwork with which the air is moved are identical to the ones used in gas or oil heating systems. 

Some models can also feature a heating coil that will give hot water for your home. Meanwhile, other wood-burning furnaces could have glass firebox doors that make them fit for decorative purposes, as well. 

Types of Wood Furnaces

Wood furnaces are pretty popular as heating devices, and many people choose them for that. There are four basic types of wood furnaces: indoor, outdoors, indoors/outdoors, and forced air furnaces. The mechanism for indoor wood furnaces has been discussed above. The other options are discussed here:

Outdoor Furnaces 

This type of wood furnace works by using heat from burning woods to heat up water. This hot water is then distributed through insulated underground pipes known as an insulated pex pipe to all the areas of the building that need heating. These pipes are then linked to your water heater with a heat exchanger that heats all of your domestic water. 

From here, it gets attached to your forced-air in-floor radiant heating system and circulates the heat around the house. The water travels through the same pex pipes so that it can be reheated. A thermostat can control this whole procedure. No one would even guess that your heating mechanism uses wood and can be operated to heat several buildings. 

Photo credit: which.co.uk

Indoor/Outdoor Furnaces

Since they can be installed in both settings, their heating mechanisms can vary and can have either system. It largely depends on the brand you are buying from, where you plan to install it, and other specifications of the model. 

Forced Air Furnaces 

These use wood chips, wood pellets, or cordwood as fuel to heat an entire house. They are usually located indoors, and heat from them is circulated with ducts by a blower fan. Chimneys for these are usually on the roof of the house. Large models of this mechanism can produce 65,000 BTU per hour, while smaller ones would have a smaller reading. 

Wood Furnaces – Comparison Overview

While this section would benefit all potential buyers, it is specifically designed for those that don’t just research a brand but the product itself. The comparisons below will give you a decent idea of how it works, what to expect, and whether it suits you. 

Wood Furnace vs Wood Stove

People who are buying or constructing a house in the countryside or somewhere where there are lots of trees around are usually confused between choosing a furnace and a stove because they have easy access to wood. Our comparison will help with that.

Wood Stove

If aesthetics please you, then the burning wood fire of an indoor wood stove will be something you would love to have in your home. Opting for a catalytic or a hybrid stove, especially if you live in growing zone seven or higher, will give you more control in regulating the temperature inside your house. 

However, this creates more of a mess and dust inside the house. Moreover, this will require more effort to chop up the wood and load it in. 

Wood Furnace

If you are going for this, then try to get something that is EPA-certified. It might cost you a little extra, but it will be smoke-free if you run it properly. This will create a healthier air environment for your family right outside your house and keep you protected from any environmental objections. However, this can cost you more than the woodstove. 

Wood Furnace vs Gas Furnace

This has been a popular debate for people looking to buy a furnace as a heating device for their houses. Let’s see what they have to offer.

Wood Furnace

The first argument that can be made in favor of this is that wood is a lot more readily available than gas or oil. You can find wood even in your backyard, but the same can’t be said about fossil fuel. Moreover, wood is a renewable source of energy; hence it has a smaller environmental footprint. However, the toxic fumes emitted by such furnaces still remain a major issue. 

Gas Furnace

Gas furnaces have a lower smoke content and particulate matter. This means that compared to a wood furnace, it can prove to be healthier for you and your family. However, the energy consumption cost for this could come out to be greater than a wood furnace. 

Photo credit: electricrate.com

Indoor Wood Stove vs Add on Furnace

People who have already installed one type of heating mechanism but are looking to improve it usually ask this question. However, this could give a good understanding of the products to all our readers.

Wood Stove

This will consume less wood than a furnace. It also radiates the heat into the living area or wherever it is installed. However, it will bring a mess into the same room as well. Moreover, this is ideal only if you wish to heat one floor of your house. 

Add on Furnace

An add on a furnace will definitely eat up more wood than a wood stove but will also give you a better heat output, especially if you live in a multiple-story house and would like to heat all the floors effectively. Moreover, the mess doesn’t make it inside your house with this one. 

How to Install a Wood Furnace

Installing a wood furnace is a simple enough procedure. You just need to follow the instructions given in the instruction manual, and you will be good to go. We have some guidelines before we get into the specifics. 

  1. First, find a suitable and appropriate location where you want to install your wood furnace. Ideally, it should be on the ground floor of your house so that heat can be distributed evenly throughout your home. You should also make sure that you have sufficient room to load wood and take care of the ash.

  2. Secondly, ensure that the surroundings of the furnace are non-combustible. You do not want to burn down your entire house. Make sure that there is at least a 12-inch distance from non-combustible walls and a 36-inch distance from combustible ones. The floor underneath the furnace most certainly has to be non-combustible. For that, you can install a concrete slab, prefabricated stove board ceramic tiles under the floor, and treat the nearby walls with 28-gauge sheet metal. 

  3. Lastly, you have to install a ventilation system or a chimney. Since a wood furnace creates smoke, you need a chimney to get that smoke out of your house. We would advise a straight vertical chimney; the lesser bends it has, the better it is. You could choose between an insulated chimney approved by UL or a masonry chimney. Moreover, the chimney should be two feet higher than anything within ten feet of the chimney horizontally. Remember to cover your chimney so that birds or any other animals can’t enter it.  

It could be a little hard to make sense of all the parts without any visuals. Therefore, we have attached this very helpful video to show you how to perform the tasks mentioned above.

How to Connect a Wood Furnace to Existing Ductwork

We understand that for many, this would be their first time buying a wood furnace. Hence, they could be facing a little trepidation at the thought of installing it all alone for the first time. However, don’t worry as we have a proper set of instructions that you can follow easily. 

  1. Unbox your device and place it in the appropriate position.

  2. Find the instruction manual in the firebox and follow the installation procedure instructions.

  3. Take out all the assembly parts from the firebox. 

  4. Don’t try to lift the blower and firebrick cartons.

  5. Make sure that the cartons are inside the firebox and take out the blower and firebrick.

  6. Check to see if you have all the assembly parts mentioned in the instruction manual.

  7. Take off the pellet straps and pellets.

  8. Place the furnace in position. Also, place the firebrick and the fire grate in their appropriate position. 

  9. With the hardware provided in the box, attach the firebox hinge into place by placing the door on top of the hinge and adjusting it accordingly until you are confident that it is functioning properly.

  10. Attach the thermal gas kit with the ash cart.

  11. Now, attach the ash door and the ash pan together by inserting the ash pan assembly into the proper position. With the help of the provided hardware, fasten the automatic damper control assembly on the furnace’s front surface. 

  12. In the firebox, insert the swing plate on the hooks.

  13. With the hardware in the box, connect the junction box and fan control and attach with it the flexible wire conduit, 110V wire supply conduit, and complete the unit’s wiring as instructed in the manual. 

  14. Cover this unit with the junction box lid.

  15. On the blower unit, attach the six-inch starter collar and then fix it with the furnace. 

  16. To the above blower and wire unit, attach the flexible conduit as per the given instruction in the manual.

  17. Between the top of the wood furnace and the existing gas furnace, attach two eight-inch duct assemblies.

  18. With a barometric draft regulator, connect a smoke pipe assembly from the furnace’s back to the chimney.
Photo credit: coalpail.com

Wood Furnace Tips

The maintenance of your wood furnace is something that your device demands. However, gratefully, this is not a hefty task and will ensure that you enjoy your investment for many years to come. The following are some tips for you to follow to keep your wood furnace in pristine condition. 

Cleanliness 

The ashes from the burnt wood are deposited in the firebox. The number of ashes largely depends on how much wood you are burning and your usage but as a general rule of thumb, clean out your firebox at least once a month. Some models are equipped with an auger system that removes the ashes. However, it might miss the ones that are stuck to the side, so it is better to do it manually. 

Water Treatment 

The water in your system needs to be treated properly, or else it will cause corrosion, and your furnace will not last long. Different companies provide different mechanisms for water treatment. Some use tinted treatments that turn the color of the water similar to that of the tint. Whenever it becomes light, you can add more tint. Some brands use test kits. The one you choose boils down to preference. Just make certain that whatever mechanism you choose, it treats your water effectively. 

Anode Rod

Anode rods usually come with the model and prevent corrosion and rust inside the water jacket. Rust and corrosion deposits are deposited on the anode rod first and then the water jacket, which enhances your system’s life. Once a year, check to see if your anode rod needs replacement. After some time, the corrosion and rust will eat it up, and you will need a new one. 

Safety Considerations For Indoor Wood Furnace

Since there is a burning fire involved in this, you must use this device with caution to avoid any injury or accident. However, if used with proper care, you and your loved ones shall remain safe and sound. Below are some precautions that you should always keep in mind.

Placement of the Wood Furnace 

Make sure that you install your wood furnace at a considerable distance from any furniture or draperies. If there are any combustible products around, keep them at a distance of at least six feet from the furnace at all times. 

Handling 

Don’t put oil on top of your furnace. Moreover, never operate a wood furnace if carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are not installed or are not working. Don’t touch the surface of the furnace when it is in use and a while after shutting it off as it will be very hot to the touch. 

Make sure that your pets and children are not left unsupervised around it. When it is on, make sure that there is some air entering the cabin to replace the air that the furnace has consumed. 

Chimney Fires

Over some time, there will be creosote buildup in your chimney, which could lead to a chimney fire. Even though the fire might burn out when the creosote is all burned up, there is also a high chance that it might burn the wood in rafters or walls. To avoid this, make sure that you clean out your chimney every once in a while. 

Conclusion

Wood furnaces are the top choices for many families that are looking to install a heating mechanism in their homes for their ability to perform the function exceptionally well. With our given options, you will not only get a quality product but will also find that they are safe. We hope our tips and safety precautions help you, and you leave much more informed. 

People Also Ask

While wood furnaces have been covered quite extensively and comprehensively in this article, this section has been added to answer some additional queries that we anticipated you might have. 

Is a Wood Burning Furnace Worth it?

To give a short answer to this question, definitely yes. Wood furnaces are efficient and good at what they do. This is why they are so popular. They will keep working even during a gas or power outage. Indoor furnaces have a complete combustion cycle and produce less smoke than outdoor burners. 

How Long Does a Wood Burning Furnace Last?

This can depend on multiple factors, including the brand from which you buy and how well you maintain it. If you take good care of your furnace and clean it regularly, then it will last you longer than if you just install it and then don’t take care of it. However, generally, they have a life of up to ten to twelve years.

How to Use a Wood Burning Furnace

You can start by using small pieces of seasoned firewood so that you have a hot fire to start with. Keep the door slightly open in the beginning so that the fire can get strong. Once the fire is set, add one large piece of wood as required instead of adding multiple ones simultaneously. 

Maintain your fire and keep the furnace’s doors closed so that the machine can operate as intended. Don’t overload the stove, and don’t burn any garbage or other material. 

How Hot Does an Average Wood Burning Furnace Fire?

This could depend on the wood that you use, the product you have and its company, and how much wood you add. However, to give a general idea, it can range somewhere between 110 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How to Hook up a Thermostat to a Wood Furnace

This would depend on your controls, but you hook up a thermostat parallel to the controls that are already there to regulate your unit’s maximum temperature. Your existing control board should also have relays. However, these requirements change if your furnace operates with a basic on/off switch. 

How Much is it to Have a Wood Burn Furnace Installed?

This also depends on a variety of factors: the state you live in, the model of your unit, and how big it is. However, to give a rough idea, the average cost to install a wood furnace ranges from $1200 to $4500. The labor alone, without installation of the ventilation system, costs around $250 to $800. 

What Length Logs Do Most Wood Furnaces Take?

You will find that logs are usually cut into 16-20 inches pieces for firewood. Fireboxes themselves usually have a length of about 15 to 23 inches. Hence, the average length for a log would be 16 inches. Some do accept as high as 21 inches, but larger pieces are harder to handle, albeit they burn longer.

What Are the Best Types of Wood For a Wood Furnace?

Most fruit trees will provide good wood to burn in a furnace. You could use hardwoods like birch, oak, ash, or maple. They have a good burn time and produce a hotter fire. They also have little sap and pitch and are usually cleaner and easier to handle. 

What Wood Is Bad to Burn in a Wood Furnace?

Generally, softwoods can burn relatively fast and produce fine ash in comparison to hardwoods. Woods like pine, balsam, and spruce are not only messy to handle but also cause creosote buildup in your chimney. 

How Far Away Can an Indoor Wood Burning Furnace Be Installed From the Existing Furnace?

Usually, if two furnaces are being installed, then that’s because the house or building has more than one floor, and one unit is not sufficient to heat them all. Hence, they are installed on different floors. 

However, if you happen to need them on the same floor, then make sure that they have a considerable distance between them and are preferably not in the same room. 

How Many BTUs Does a Wood Furnace Produce For a 2000 Ft. Home?

As discussed earlier, a unit’s heat output depends on more than one factor and will not necessarily give you the mentioned reading. That is only there to give you a general idea. However, for a 2000-feet house, you can expect 88,000 BTU to 90,000 BTU. 

How Long Does a Wood Burning Add on Furnace Burn?

Once you have set your fire and it is burning properly, you start to load larger pieces of logs into your wood stove’s firebox. The fire will catch from one log to the other, and the burn time could be six to eight hours. 

Why Is My Wood Furnace Not Drafting Well?

This is not something that you need to worry about. Firstly, check your firewood supply. Seasoned firewood will have a 15-20% moisture content and burn much better than dry wood. Another reason could be that there is blockage or buildup in your flue or cap.



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.