Buying a Wood Stove

How to Choose a Wood Stove

In B.C, all new wood stoves and inserts sold must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) emission standards. These emission standards also apply to wood furnaces and boilers and pellet-fueled appliances.

Your stove must be properly installed, operated within its optimum heating range, and regularly maintained.·          

Design and Installation

Smoke can be caused by lack of oxygen, low burning temperature, wet or green wood, and other factors.

Look for a stove design that allows for more complete combustion. These features include insulated baffles, heated primary and secondary air, firebox insulation, and advanced designs that promote secondary combustion.


If combustion gases go up your chimney without being fully burned, much of the energy in your firewood is wasted. Baffles increase the efficiency of your stove by increasing turbulence. They hold the gases inside the firebox longer, directing them back into the fire so they will burn more fully and make the fire burn hotter. An insulated baffle keeps the temperature of the gases high to promote this secondary burning.

Air Supply

Inside the stove, pipes or channels preheat the primary and secondary air which can mix with the smoke and ignite to give secondary combustion and ensure that combustion is more complete.


Firebox insulation (such as firebrick) stores heat and keeps the combustion temperature high and stable. Heat storage warms your home long after the fire is out. A consistently high firebox temperature promotes more complete combustion.

Certification and Emission Standards

These certified stoves often include design features that promote secondary combustion. Most of these features are aimed at burning off the dangerous chemicals and toxic substances before they leave the firebox. This is achieved when:

  • The fire has an adequate oxygen supply
  • The gases coming off the fire are at high temperature and are mixed with preheated oxygen
  • The gases have enough time to burn before they cool down