Best Rear Vent Wood Stoves – 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: July 14, 2021

When it comes to wood stoves, people care as much as about the installation cost as they worry about the actual price of the unit. A rear vented stove helps lessen the former. Such stoves allow you to save money by providing easy installation. Their simple designs allow the vents to be inserted directly into the wall without any need for a special location. 

These stoves are strong and very durable, but more importantly, they are built to be very efficient. Their BTU settings are kept high to ensure proper and even distribution of heat all around.

This review discusses some of the most common rear vent wood stoves in the market. It also highlights the pros, cons, and the main features of each of these units to give you a wholesome picture. Important information regarding features to look out for, the installation process, and an elaborative FAQ section are also included. 

Comparison of the Best Rear Vent Wood Stoves

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Large enough to be primary heat source
  • Has an efficiency of over 67%
  • Features a fully-lined firebrick firebox
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  • Heats up to 32 squares
  • Has a low emission level
  • Has an efficiency of 68%
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  • Best for the Money
  • Features a built-in air channel to circulate air
  • Has an efficiency of 78%
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  • Made from strong and high-quality material
  • Features intricate design features for beautiful look
  • Offers efficient and long-lasting heat
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  • Has an efficiency of just under 85%
  • High flow combuster creates minimal flow resistance
  • Operates without the need of a bypass
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How Does a Rear Vent Wood Stove Work? 

Rear vent stoves aren’t very different from your usual stoves, and the way they operate is also very similar. Most models come with heat exchange tubes that send any air that is heated back to the room. A hopper stores the wood or pellets for burning and the burn pot holds pellets for combustion.

The convection fan added to the stove helps circulate the air through the tubes and then sends it back to the room. This ensures equal distribution so that one corner of the room isn’t relatively hotter than the other. An auger feeds the pellets to the burn pot and prepares them for the ignition process.

The intake vent pulls the outside air into the burn pot, and the exhaust vent expels combustion gases. There is also a combustion fan that pulls in exhaust gases to ensure smoke doesn’t affect the surroundings.

Why Did These Rear Vent Wood Stoves Make Our List? 

If you want to get the most satisfaction out of your investment, then you have to be vigilant when picking a model. Some important features make some rear vent wood stoves stand out more than others. Here is why our picks are special and worth considering.

Good Coverage

There is absolutely no point investing in a vented stove if it cannot act as your home’s primary heat source. Many units offer less BTU and hence can only heat a room or a part of it. We only picked models that cover a large surface area hence ensuring that heat is distributed evenly around your house. This, along with good efficiency, helps our picks stand out.

Photo credit: chimneysolutions.com

Durable Design

The models that we picked are either traditional or modern, but durability and strength are common in all. The traditional designs are self-standing and come with large or small fireboxes, and they don’t use blowers. They also come with a small ceramic glass and aren’t as safe as modern design. 

However, they add to the aesthetic appeal of your house. Modern designs are much more convenient and come with a lot of safety features. The only drawback to them is that they are also relatively expensive.

Safety and Easy Venting

Almost all units on the list come with a simple installation process that allows the exhaust pipe to go straight out of the wall and into the chimney or roof. This helps eliminate all the harmful and toxic gases from escaping your house. Moreover, these models provide proper coverage to the flames hence enhancing safety.

Review of the Best Rear Vent Wood Stoves

These vent stoves did not just make our list because they offered attractive bodies. They are also some of the most efficient and functional stoves that can act as your home’s primary heating source. So here is our pick of the best models.

Best Overall

Jøtul F 55 V2 Carrabassett

Specifications

Heat Output (BTU/h): 84,311

Heating Capacity (sq ft): 2,600

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What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers were a bit nervous before buying this unit because the model was around 500 pounds and was incredibly large. They anticipated that it would be hard to clean and maintain it, but nothing could have been further from the truth. The Jotul Carrabassett was both powerful and durable, yet it came with a minimalistic design, a fact that the buyers appreciated a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Jotul has been a true game-changer in the industry because it has completely changed how people look at rear vent stoves. This model is around 30 inches tall and 27 inches wide, making it large enough to act as your house’s primary heat source. It offers very strong construction that not only provides greater durability but also ensures you can use the unit for a very long time.

The model can also heat rooms and halls that are 2600 sq. ft. or bigger. This is made possible with its excellent combustion system that reduces waste and makes the model extremely efficient. Moreover, the package comes with a fresh air kit, leg leveler kit, thermometer, and stove gloves.

Bottom Line 

With an excellent BTU of around 84000, it is no wonder that this model sits at the very top of our list. It is one of the largest units in the market and has the ability to heat a room of 2600 sq. feet easily. It also offers a good value for the money, and its flue outlet is six inches long. This, along with a burn time of ten hours, ensures that you don’t have to frequently clean the unit.

Pros

Uses cast iron for construction

Provides an excellent efficiency of 73%

Large enough to be used as the only heat source

Weighted particulate emission, on average, is only 1.3g/hr. 

Features a fully lined firebrick firebox that can handle long logs

Cons

Installation is expensive

Runner-up

Quadra-Fire Explorer III

Specifications

Heat Output (BTU/h): N/A

Heating Capacity (sq ft): 3,000

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What Recent Buyers Report 

People liked investing in a model that they could rely on; the lifetime warranty of the Quadra-Fire Explorer III ensured that they could. But most buyers were more interested in the automatic combustion control system incorporated into the system. This, they said, allowed for better heat management and ensured a more precise and accurate airflow.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The performance of a model has never looked this good before. This unit allows you to get the maximum heat without burning your hands. You can simply put the log in through the opening, and you are good to go. This easy setup really stood out because it saves both the time and energy of the user. It also has EPA certification that ensures that emissions are kept less than 1.1g/hour.

Another very extraordinary feature was the automatic combustion control burn technology that is much more efficient than the ordinary output control technology. This, along with an effective ash removal system, ensures that you don’t have to spend too much time cleaning the unit every time you light the fire.

Bottom Line 

Any product that comes with a lifetime warranty instantly becomes attractive. The Quadra-Fire Explorer III comes with four different combustion systems that enhance the fire and extend the heat and hence increase efficiency. This, along with a durable and strong body, ensures an everlasting performance. 

Pros

Setup and installation are very easy

Delivers a powerful performance of 11.8 kW

Allows for easy cleaning and quick maintenance

Can heat the room quickly, thus saving time and energy

Comes with an automatic combustion burn technology that saves energy

Cons

Appearance is not very modern

Best for the Money

HearthStone Manchester

Specifications

Heat Output (BTU/h): 75,000

Heating Capacity (sq ft): 2,400

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What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers simply invested in this model because of its affordability, but for some, the cost was of secondary importance. They were truly amazed by the air channels included in the design. These are located on the top and bottom sides and help enhance circulation. They also ensure that heat is distributed equally in all corners of your home.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Convenience and affordability are the two words we often associate with this brand, and the same is the case with this model. It comes with a compact body that is easier to install. Not just that, but it also ensures easy maintenance as you don’t have to clean the unit frequently and thoroughly. There is a small ash pan that included collecting all the ashes and soot. You can simply take it out and wash it after a few uses.

The construction is also exceptional. Hearthstone Manchester uses soapstone blocks for the exterior body. This is a strong material that doesn’t break easily and offers greater resistance against impact. Moreover, a fantastic TruHybrid technology is also used that increases efficiency without increasing the cost.

Bottom Line

There are three reasons that you should consider this unit. It uses soapstone bricks and cast iron material, and it incorporates catalysts in its technology. A strong body, together with excellent technology, is just what a rear vent stove needs to excel in its performance. And Hearthstone has certainly done that with ease with this unit. 

Pros

Lined with strong soapstone blocks for extra rigidity

TruHybrid technology ensures long-lasting performance

Comes with an ash pan that helps with easy maintenance 

Has the ability to load your fireplace through the side door

Built with an air-channel that ensures equal distribution of heat

Cons

Has less capacity to store logs or pellets

HearthStone Shelburne

Specifications

Heat Output (BTU/h): 60,000

Heating Capacity (sq ft): 2,000

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What Recent Buyers Report

Users were really content with both the outlook and efficiency of this model. They found it very attractive. However, they invested in the design because it allowed for excellent visibility from all four sides. Moreover, the backside was as appealing as the front, a feature many passionate buyers loved a lot. They said that the attractive exterior added to the beauty of their homes.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Many features stand out in this model, but its ability to be both reliable and modern sits at the top. It was provided with the EPA certification that ensures that it doesn’t produce a lot of emissions when the fire is lit. Hearthstone was one of the first brands to decrease emission rates and make them lower than 2 grams per hour.

The model is also special because of its excellent truHybrid technology that allows the stove to burn efficiently and without producing a lot of ash. Moreover, it makes use of a catalyst, thus increasing the combustion rate of the wood. All this ensures that the wood burns properly and fully.

Bottom Line

Strong construction and good finishing are very important when it comes to rear vent technology, and the Hearthstone Shelburne offers both these features. It uses high-quality cast iron parts from the Spanish foundry for the manufacturing of the exterior body. This is further complemented by a smooth finish that uses porcelain enamel. 

Pros

Designed to be visible from all four sides

Lined with soapstone blocks and offers efficiency

Uses cast iron for manufacturing, making it highly durable

Uses porcelain enamel for an excellent and smooth finishing

Comes with a very detailed and enameled backside that enhances the beauty

Cons

Slightly heavier than most other units

Jøtul F 500 V3 Oslo CF

Specifications

Heat Output (BTU/h): 70,000

Heating Capacity (sq ft): 2,300

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What Recent Buyers Report 

If there is one thing that buyers like more than anything, it is honesty. They love this Jotul stove because it delivered on all its promises of efficiency and sustainability. The stove is both strong and offers greater resistance against back puffing. Moreover, they have mentioned the model’s high efficiency to be the main reason behind their buying decision.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Jotul became a household name very soon because it won the Vesta Award for its unmatched quality. This particular stove is true to the brand’s essence and comes with some of the most extraordinary features. The special fusion technology ensures that the logs burn fully and hence don’t produce a lot of waste. It is relatively better than the hybrid technology because it doesn’t require any bypass mode.

We also found the combustor very efficient. This, coupled with the fusion technology, helped minimize flow resistance, thus eliminating any draft sensitivity. The model can also eliminate back puffing completely and keep the air around the stove clean and healthy.

Bottom Line 

The model was introduced in 2019 and became an instant hit. It came with a modern and advanced fusion technology that used a sharp and fast catalyst to decrease flow resistance. Moreover, this spectacular unit allowed for greater free-flowing that ensured only 15% of the energy went to waste.

Pros

Efficiency of 85% ensures very little waste

Doesn’t require any bypass to run efficiently

Eliminates back puffing more than any other unit

Comes with a Fusion Technology that ensures complete burning of the logs

Combustor creates less flow resistance, thus eliminating any draft sensitivity

Cons

Expensive

What are the Benefits of a Rear Vent Wood Stove? 

If you’re not convinced that a rear vent wood stove is the right choice, maybe having a look at the benefits it provides can help. Have a look!

Reliable Fuel Source

Wood, as opposed to electricity or gas, is a much more reliable and cheap fuel source. It is easy to obtain, and it decreases your utility bills hence providing convenience for a longer time. Moreover, there are a lot of variations in the type of wood you use. You can even mix and match different logs to get better efficiency. Moreover, a good unit will ensure proper and full combustion of logs hence decreasing waste.

Photo credit: vangasfireplaces.com

Doesn’t Require Any Alternative

The only time you will ever have an issue with your model is when you don’t have a reserve of wood stored in your garage or storeroom. Wood stoves are very reliable because they don’t require any alternative power source to run. Unlike electrical units, you won’t be experiencing any power outage or gas running out. Moreover, you can always rely on these units to act as the only and suitable primary heating source for your entire home.

Environmentally Friendly

You might think that these models are less eco-friendly than electric ones, but nothing could be further from the truth. Wood is actually a renewable fuel source, and it is considered carbon-neutral, meaning that it doesn’t have any carbon footprint and hence doesn’t produce any toxic emissions. The wood you burn takes less time to combust and also ensures a good output.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

Any unit that requires you to invest a hefty amount on the purchase demands a little bit of consideration. Stoves are an excellent choice for your home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider certain aspects before making the final choice. Here are some of the most obvious considerations.

Look and Appeal

Many people are very particular about the kind of look they are going for. They want a unit that will complement their home décor and resonate well with the energy. If you have decorated your room or your living area in a traditional way, then you may like a model with a rustic appeal. However, if you are a fan of modern textures, then you may like to add a classier wood stove.

Photo credit: stovax.com

Size and Capacity

These are obvious considerations that any buyer would think of. You need to remember how frequently you use the vent stove and how much area you want to be covered. If you are using your model as a primary heat source, you can invest in a larger model that heats a 2000-3000 sq. ft. area easily. However, if you have a small house and you only need a unit to provide heat to one room, you can opt for a lower BTU.

Installation and Maintenance

People often focus on installation and completely ignore maintenance. Most such units don’t require very hefty installations; however, they will require some level of maintenance once installed. You should always go for models that require less cleaning and have simple designs. You should ideally look for models with ashtrays that allow for a safe cleaning process. This will save both your time and energy.

Floor Protection

This is another aspect that is overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. A stove that is not safe for your flooring can lead to serious accidents. Make sure you look for a unit that offers greater safety features and padding and hence provides your floor from embers.

Photo credit: thestoveyard.com

How to Install a Rear Vent Fireplace

A wood-burning rear vent stove can be extremely useful in the house and can cut on essential costs. However, the first step to achieving efficiency is to install the stove appropriately. You should have the necessary information before you get started. Here is how you install the unit.

  1. The first step is to always find the location; you can’t place them anywhere you want. They need to be positioned in a way that heat is properly distributed in the entire house, so you need to find a central location.

  2. The location should also be such that you can place enough wood around it. You should also be able to remove the ash in the end easily.

  3. Everything you need for installation is available in the kit that comes with the package.

  4. There is an air intake that takes in air, combusts the fire, and then leaves through the exhaust.

  5. Since these have a direct vent system, you will first have to fix the flexible vent kit to the intake area.

  6. Take the straight length pipe and attach it to the vent pipe.

  7. The external cap will be placed outside your house, and the interior pipe will go through it.

  8. There is also a trim piece that comes with the unit and will allow you to trim out your wall from the inside.

  9. Make sure your unit is at least 36 inches from the walls and at least 12 inches from any noncombustible appliances. 

  10. The floor where you place the unit shouldn’t be combustible either. If your floor is wooden or has carpets, avoid installing the unit in that place.

This is a short overview of what you have to do. For a more detailed process, make sure you check out the video below.

Conclusion 

If there is one thing we made sure of, it’s to keep this guide as unbiased as possible. All of the products have been reviewed against their pros and cons. If you like the design of any of these stoves, make sure you also look out for the features before making a final investment.

Moreover, remember that even if you are saving a lot of money and time on installation, this doesn’t give you a freehand to be careless. With proper maintenance and thorough cleaning, you can maximize the output of even a very simple and basic model. So buck up every month and make sure your rear vent stove is cared for.

People Also Ask

With the plethora of models available on the market, it is only natural to have a few questions in mind before you can make the final purchase. The following are some common questions along with their answers for further clarity of rear vent wood stoves. 

Can You Direct Vent a Wood Stove?

There are two main options for venting when it comes to wooden stoves; rear vents and direct vents. The opening for the piping or flue, as it is sometimes called, is located at the backside, on the top of your stove. Although you can direct vent a stove, it does require the expertise of a professional.

Can You Vent a Wood Stove Through a Window?

There is a stovepipe, sometimes referred to as a chimney connector. This is the main component that will connect the stove to the chimney. When it is placed through the window, it sends the exhaust fumes out of the house. Improper installation can, however, act as a huge fire hazard.

Where to Put Damper on Rear Exit Wood Stove?

Some handles that are placed on the stove can be pushed in or pushed out depending on the design and brand. You need to equip yourself with the damper that is situated on the outside of the stove. You will have to determine which particular position closes the damper and which opens it. Only then can you decide on its positioning.

What is a Rear Venting Wood Stove’s Minimum Rear Clearance?

The minimum clearance that you need for a wood stove is at least 36 inches. This can be allowed between the ceiling and the top of the stove. The stone and the brick will not protect if you don’t leave this space. Moreover, leaving less than 36 inches acts as a fire hazard.

Can I Rear Vent a Wood Stove Through the Exterior Wall?

If you are thinking of setting your unit through your exterior wall, you will have to run the chimney through the outside wall to save both cost and time. This means that you don’t always have to install the chimney in a vertical direction.



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.