What Size Wood Burning Stove Do I Need?

You can find out the appropriate wood burner size in kilowatts by:

  1. Calculate the cubic space of the room by multiplying the width, height and length.
  2. As a rule of thumb, divide the cubic space by 14 and this will give you a KW output needed for the room.
  3. If your room needs a wood burner between 4-6 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  4. If your room needs a wood burner between 7-9 KW then you need a medium wood burning stove.
  5. If your room needs a wood burner between 10-15 KW then you need a large wood burning stove.
  6. Using our calculator, you can take into account how well insulated your house is.
  7. Using our calculator you can also take into account if you like the room to be warmer than 20°C or not.

When choosing a wood burning stove it is difficult to know what size stove to buy to suit your home. First thing to note is that people often buy a stove that is really too big for their needs, whilst it is tempting to just buy the largest stove possible this isn’t necessarily the best option.

First, any stove that you get which is over 5kw needs an air brick or ventillation kit installed in the room that stove is in to ensure adequate air flow but it is recomended for any burning appliance of any size.

Second, all stoves have an optimal performance efficiency and to acheive this they need to be running at their nominal heat output, if they are running at less or more than this they become less efficient, meaning that you spend more on fuel and the exhaust is more damaging to the environment. Accordingly getting a stove with a nominal heat output that matches your room is desirable.

To get a better idea of what heat output you will need from a wood burning stove you can use our heat output calculator. You should remember that this is only a guide as factors such as how well insulated your room is etc will affect the output that is needed.

Another important factor to consider is the physical size of the stove, you need to physically have enough room for the stove, allowing 150mm of clearance to the sides and rear and 225mm to the front of your hearth to comply with the building regulations. Your stove should also be 950mm away from any combustable materials, so you should always check the dimensions of the stove and measure up before buying.

Once you have spent some time to consider what size of stove to buy you can then look through our range of wood burning stoves that will best suit you. We have a complete range of small 4-6kw wood burning stoves, medium 7-9kw wood burning stoves and large wood burning stoves from 10-15kw.

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19 thoughts on “What Size Wood Burning Stove Do I Need?”

  1. According to your instructions ALL rooms of whatever size need a small woodburning stove.
    Is this really the case?

    1. Certainly not, if you visit the Output Calculator on the Glowing Embers homepage, enter your room dimensions, this will calculate the range of KW you require. You will be surprised however how many people ‘oversize’ the stove they actually need as when it comes to wood burners, more is not better if the room does not require it

    2. No, not at all. If you enter your room dimensions into the output calculator, the response varies depenging on the dims’ entered

    1. We would be more than happy to calculate that for you but could you clarify your room dimensions as L x W x H please

    1. 24 feet X 32 feet X 14 feet high open space
      6 inches thick wall insulation. Concrete floor. What size and brand wood burning stove do you recommend?

  2. Can I install a multi-fuel stove that has a 12kw output when the room only requires 9kw? Thanks Steve

    1. I would only advise adding a couple of KW on top of what the sizing calculator tells you is required for your room size. When it comes to stoves, it is not a case of ‘getting more for your money’ by having a higher output stove than is required as it will either A) be too hot for the room making it unbearable to be in and/or B) you will not be running the stove at its optimum output whioch is also its optimum performance in terms of efficiency and cleanliness of combustion.

    1. As a rule of thumb, you want to allow approx. 1.5kw per radiator so, using our Stove Search, you would need to be looking for boiler stoves with dedicated output to water of at least 27kw.

  3. Hi. I would like to buy an inset wood burner from you. KRATKI MAJA 8KW INSET WOOD BURNING STOVE – MAJA/PF
    Can you tell me please what is the minimum size for the flue liner in the chimney to be fitted for this product?
    Thank you

    1. The Kratki Maja features an 8″ (200mm) diameter collar and so that is the minimum diameter for your flue system.

  4. Hi Andrew my brother is moving house in a couple of weeks and has told me I can have his nester martin log burner its a few years old but in great nick it measures 620 wide by 700mm high ,I’ve calculated my room size as you advised on how to do and my room is 43.75 divided by 14 is 3.125 ,I’ve tried to have a look for the kW of yhe log burner but can’t find it ,do you think thus will be yo big many thanks alan

    1. Nestor Martin are a very well-built stove brand so you have done well to inherit one! If you could provide me with your room dimenions (W x L x H) I could calculate the required KW more accurately for you. With regards to the suitability of this burner for your living space, are you able to see if the data plate is still attached to the rear or side of it? This would tell you the model name or code and the precise KW output of it.

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