Wood Burning Stove Reviews - Comparisons

In this comparison we have a review of five medium-sized wood burning stoves including Napolean, Vogelzang, Lexington Forge, Appalachian Stoves and Lennox.
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Napolean 1100CP Wood Stove
The Editor Pick Editor's Pick

Napolean 1100CP Wood Stove

- Heats up to 1,600 sq. ft.
- Emissions down to 4.1 GPH
- 69.8% Max Efficiency
- Single lever burn control
- Bottom air feed for cold starts
- Choice of porcelain or wrought iron finish
- Large, easily accessible ash dump
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Rear Shield

Avg. Price: $1,364

Learn More: Buy at Shoppers Choice and Get Free Shipping!

Vogelzang Highlander

Vogelzang Highlander

- Heats up to 1,800 sq. ft.
- Emissions down to 5.76 GPH
- Mixed reviews
- Steel plate construction
- Adjustable blower
- Ceramic glass window

Avg. Price: $800

Learn More: Buy new or used from Amazon.com

Lexington Forge Savannah

Lexington Forge Savannah

- Heats up to 2,200 sq. ft.
- Steel plate construction
- Side and rear heat sheilds
- Easily removed baffle for cleaning

Avg. Price: $1,688

Learn More: Check prices here!

Appalachian Wood Stoves

Appalachian Wood Stoves

- Heats up to 2,000 square feet
- 75% - 85% efficiency
- Front mounted blower
- Mobile home approved
- Steel plate construction

Avg. Price: $1,780

Learn More: Find a dealer

Lennox Hearth Performer

Lennox Hearth Performer

- Heats up to 1,200 - 2,000 sq ft
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Stainless steel construction
- Single draft control for ease of use

Avg. Price: $2,300

Learn More: Learn more about it here:

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What research says

We didn't review any pellet-burning stoves here, but if you'd like to see a comparison of those please make a comment below and we'll push it forward on the review calendar.

The following wood-burning stoves are all free-standing and considered medium-size, but beyond that they vary greatly in features, efficiency, price and quality. In terms of smoke emissions, they're all limited to 7.5 grams of smoke per hour or less by EPA regulations. Another thing to consider is the importance of a good, Class A stainless steel chimney that is installed properly. Poor quality or poorly installed wood burning stove chimneys can lead to poor draft and lower efficiency, and can also burn your house down. So don't stop at the stove - consider your chimney too.

The best wood-burning stove of the bunch in this size range is Napoleon 1100CP Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove, although you're limited to a 1,600 square foot area, while some of the other competitors heat over 2,000 square feet. Napoleon is affordable without sacrificing quality and efficiency. Smoke emissions go even lower than EPA guidelines (as low as 4.1 GPH) and the heating efficiency is nearly 70%. They made a point with the single-lever burn control to make establishing a clean burn easier for novices and the experienced alike. One other feature I like is the "bottom air feed" which helps during cold start-ups. For those of you who've never owned a wood burning stove before, starting them cold can sometimes result in a backdraft that smokes up the entire house. The porcelain enamel is a nice touch if you're not craving that whole antique cast iron look. But if you are Napoleon does make those styles as well.

The best bargain of the bunch is the Vogelzang Highlander wood-burning stove. At under $700 it's hard to beat price-wise, although you sacrifice quality in many areas. For instance, you'll step down from cast-iron to steel plate construction. The metal isn't designed to keep the heat, however. The stove's job is to send heat out into the room. Therefore, cast iron is thought by some to be nothing more than an expensive and heavy aesthetic. Be warned about this one though, we found some mixed reviews online. The company has been in business since 1927 and is respected as a well-priced option in many circles, but as one Amazon.com reviewer put it: 'I am in the process to see if I have any recourse or any possibility of a refund!'

Lexington Forge doesn't give any emissions or efficiency ratings for their Savannah 30, even when you download their product specifications PDF file. We found one dealer claiming 69.8% efficiency and another only claiming 63%. Both said it "met" the EPA standards for smoke emissions. It's competition is much lower in price, more efficient and "exceeds" EPA standards for smoke emissions.

The Appalachian 30 CD Wood Stove is very efficient and we like the front blower, the size, and the fact that it claims to heat up to 2,000 square feet. But it's also expensive, and you have to buy it from a dealer - can't just buy from their site.

The Lennox Hearth Performer series wood burning stove is a well-built stove by a well-known brand (the same people who do air conditioning) but it didn't seem to offer any features or materials to justify the higher-than-normal price.

Other Wood Burning Stove Brands Not in This Review:
Wood burning stoves is a long learrning curve. It is well into the wee hours of the morning so we're going to leave it up to our readers to post some user-generated content / reviews / comparisons about the following additional wood burning stove brands:

Breckwell Hearths | US Stove | Avalon Firestyles | Blaze King | Energy King | Harman Home Heating | Kuma Wood Stoves

Bob said:

I am trying to find about the Avalon Spokane 1250

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