A wood stove is a perfect addition for a cabin, whether the cabin is a weekend retreat or a full-time home. Choosing the right stove ensures that it will serve well for many years.

1. Size

Size may be the most important factor, particularly in a small cabin where the wood stove is expected to be the primary heat source. Start by measuring the cabin for the exact square footage. Then, consider the location of the stove — a centrally located stove will heat the cabin much more quickly than one placed against a cold wall. The stove dealer can steer you to those stoves rated to your needs based upon this information.

2. Efficiency

Not all stoves are created equally when it comes to efficiency. Not only do efficient stoves require less wood to heat the cabin, which saves you labor on chopping and hauling, they also are safer to use. This is because an efficient stove burns the wood as well as the gas and creosote byproducts, which reduces the chances of a chimney fire. Look for catalytic combustion wood stoves for the highest efficiency.

3. Door Style

Many cabin dwellers love the idea of an open-hearth fireplace, as it's relaxing to sit near a fire on a cold evening. Yet, fireplaces heat poorly because much of the warmth is lost up the chimney. A wood stove is a better option, and you don't have to lose the ambiance. Choose a wood stove with a front door that opens fully if you sometimes want the comfort of sitting near an open fire. You can also find stoves with glass doors that ensure the flames are always providing ambiance. 

4. Cooking Option

A wood stove can provide a primary cooking surface in a cabin, or it can be a backup for when there are unforeseen power outages. If you think that you may ever need to cook on the stove, then look for one that has a flat cooktop. A cooktop can also be a handy addition for keeping water warm for tea and coffee, so you don't have to get up to put a kettle on in the kitchen.

5. Maintenance

Other than periodic cleaning of the exterior and the chimney, the main maintenance task with a wood stove is scooping out the ashes. There are models with built-in ash collection drawers that make this task a breeze since all you must do is remove the drawer and dump the ashes.

Contact a dealer, such as Blaze King stove sales, to see options that will work well in your cabin.