The popularity of wood burning stoves over the last decade has rocketed, with sales increasing between 20% and 40%! Once seen as old-fashioned, wood burning stoves are now a desirable addition to any household – adding a quaint and cosy feel to your home, while being highly sustainable too! However, even the best wood burning stove will have its limitations – this is where a stove fan is needed. Free to run but with many benefits that will be discussed below, a stove fan should definitely be at the top of your shopping list!
- 1 Only got 5 minutes?
- 2 Best Pick
- 3 Best Budget
- 4 Our Best Pick Stove Fan – In Brief
- 5 Why Trust Us?
- 6 Why purchase a Stove Fan?
- 7 How do stove fans work?
- 8 What do I need to consider before purchasing a Stove Fan?
- 9 How do I fit and use a Stove Fan?
- 10 What are the limitations of using Stove Fans?
- 11 Best Pick Stove Fan – Tomersun Twin Blade
- 12 Best Budget Stove Fan – Tomersun 3 Blade Stove Fan
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
Anyone with experience of wood burning stoves will understand the frustration of the intense heat when sat close to the stove, compared to the chill felt in parts of the room that are further away! There have been many times when I have been torn between sitting next to the wood burner and ending up with singed eyebrows or sitting further away and sacrificing the benefit of the heat. This was until I bought a stove fan. Stove fans circulate the heat from the stove, which results in a more even temperature not just throughout the main room, but other rooms in the house!
This Ultimate Buyers Guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to purchase a stove fan that is right for you and your home, considering the benefits and how to fit a stove fan, plus looking at more detailed aspects of how the fans work and which fans we would recommend.
Only got 5 minutes?
Wanting to go and purchase your stove fan as soon as possible? This section of the Buyers Guide is just for you – explaining the main points that you need to feel confident when purchasing your stove fan.
A handy device that sits on top of your wood burning stove to circulate the warm air around your room – a stove fan is the perfect way to optimise your purchase of a wood burning stove for a relatively small cost. Most stove fans use something called the Stirling Effect to run (explained in more detail below) – using the heat already being produced from your stove to generate power to turn the fan, which then distributes the warmth around your home. It really is as simple as that!
Fitting the stove fan in the perfect position on top of your stove will allow the fan to work its magic – pushing the uncomfortably warm heat away from the wood burning stove to the icy cold corners of the room. The result…a room that is warm, cosy and comfortable no matter how near or far you are from the wood burning stove itself!
Although the general function of the fans is usually similar, there are a vast number of stove fans available for you and many things to consider before making your purchase, such as:
- How do stove fans work?
- What are the limitations of using stove fans?
- What size and style of stove fan is right for my home?
- And most importantly…is a stove fan something that I need to purchase?
If you feel you need more information to make the best decision for your home, then read on to find out more.
Our Best Pick Stove Fan – In Brief
Our best pick and best budget models for our Stove Fan Buyers Guide go to the Tomersun brand. They offer both value, durability and reliability. The brand is known only for stove fans and it focuses much of its efforts on making some of the best in the business. The twin model not only dissipates more heat, more evenly it is also a very low-profile model allowing it to fit in the tightest of spaces.
Why Trust Us?
The internet is full of review sites that claim they have bought and rigorously tested every product so they can give you the best buying advice, Tripadvisor has some fake reviews, who do you trust?
Let us be straight from the off, we provide the following, we get a product category or subject area, find out everything you could possibly want to know about it, find some of the best products for sale in the category and combine it all into a concise buyers guide.
If we were buying something that is exactly what we are looking for, we don’t care much for someone’s opinion, we want facts, the best products based on specifications and reviews and it all presented in one place. That is what we provide in our buyer’s guides.
Why purchase a Stove Fan?
As we previously explained, the main benefit of using a stove fan is how easily they dispel dramatic changes in temperature throughout rooms by circulating air. With gas prices constantly on the rise, this compact, self-powered device will not just add to the warmth of your home but could also reduce your use of other forms of heating, particularly if you have more than one wood burning stove.
I often found, before purchasing my stove fan, that I would have both the central heating and the wood burning stove working on full power to keep the room warm and comfortable, whereas once I had fitted a stove fan, I was able to use just the wood burning stove to fuel multiple rooms in my home. This resulted in my home being consistently warm and a reduction in the price of my energy bills – what more could you ask for?
How do stove fans work?
There are two main ways in which stove fans work – the Seebeck Effect and the Stirling Effect (although most stove fans use the latter). Based on the original Stirling type engines dating back to 1816, they work in a similar way to a steam engine – just without steam! By recycling hot and cold air it produces a power that can drive a machine, or in our case – a fan. This is known as thermoelectricity!
The fan contains on motor with two semiconductors, when these are at contrasting temperatures they generate a small amount of electricity. The difference in heat from the bottom of the fan (being heated by the stove) and the top of the fan causes the motor to rotate the blades. Cooling fans placed at the rear of the device help to keep the top of the fan at a lower temperature, which keeps the stove fan doing its job to circulate the air around your room. Different fans need to reach different temperatures to start working, but these usually range from 45 to 60C.
We have provided details of different fans and their start up temperatures so that you can find one that is most likely to work with your wood burning stove as, just like the fans, all stoves will reach different temperatures depending on their build and also the types of fuel that you are using on them.
From experiments that have been conducted, it has been found that stove fans can increase the temperatures in the furthest corners of the room by 1 to 1 ½ degrees. This may not sound like much but would definitely make a difference on those cold winter evenings! Why add more wood to the fire, or go and put on another jumper, when a stove fan can warm you and the room without any extra work?
What do I need to consider before purchasing a Stove Fan?
There are various different aspects to consider when purchasing a stove fan. Although most stove fans are similar in the way that they work, they will all look slightly different and function in different ways.
The first thing to consider is the optimum temperatures of the different stove fans, and find one that has a lower functioning temperature – this means that you will be able to enjoy the benefits of the stove fan sooner. Also look at the maximum working temperature of the stove fan to ensure that it will not be damaged on top of your wood burning stove.
It is also important to look at the level of noise that each fan makes. Most fans are designed to be nice and quiet – you wouldn’t want a loud whirring sound in your front room whilst watching tv in the evenings! However, they do all differ slightly in noise levels so it is important to check this before purchasing.
Next it is aesthetics – yes, your stove fan has to be practical – but you don’t want an eyesore on top of your lovely wood burning stove! Make sure that the stove fan will suit your wood burning stove and also that it is big enough to work effectively for you size of front room, but not so big that it takes over the whole of the wood burning stove! The size of the stove fan that you purchase is massively down to personal preference. A bigger fan will of course spread the warm air further than a smaller fan (so is better suited to bigger rooms), but you could also find that they will be louder and have a higher start up temperature.
Finally, check reviews of different stove fans to make sure that they are reliable, cost effective, and suitable for your wood burning stove.
How do I fit and use a Stove Fan?
There is no specific “fitting” required for your stove fan, it is merely a case of ensuring it is position in the right place! Fitting your stove fan should be relatively easy – the main thing that you need to ensure is that you have room behind it for air to flow. This allows the fan to draw in the cooler air to both stop the stove fan from overheating and also to replace this colder air with warm air to disperse around the room. However, don’t be led into thinking that this means the best place for your fan is right at the front of your wood burning stove! Placing your stove fan at the front of your stove will also stop your fan from sending the warmest air (on the top of the stove) around the room. Therefore I would suggest allowing about 15-25cms behind your stove fan, but it is important that you move the stove fan around slightly during the first few times of use, to find the perfect place for you.
Once you have fitted your stove fan, you can sit back and relax, allowing the fan to do the rest of the work. It really is that easy! Simply light your wood burning stove as you would normally do, and when the stove has reached the minimum temperature for the stove fan, the fan will start to turn. As your fire starts to deplete the fan will simply stop turning.
The only point to mention is that some stove fans also have a maximum working temperature (see our individual product details for more information). If you have a particularly powerful wood burning stove that builds to a very high temperature this can damage your stove fan. Some stove fans come with a built in thermostat, so a quick look will tell you whether your stove fan is overheating or not. But if not, there are thermostats that you can purchase separately to avoid any damage occurring to your new stove fan!
What are the limitations of using Stove Fans?
There are a couple of limitations when using stove fans. The fans are only able to circulate the air in your home to a certain extent, especially depending on both the size of fan and the size of the wood burning stove that you purchase. Depending on the layout of your home, for example if you have multiple separate rooms on one floor, then you may find that you need other heat sources for these rooms, as the fan will not be able to circulate the air effectively when these rooms are closed off.
Equally the position of the stove fan will determine how effective the stove fan will be. This can lead to some trial and error while the perfect position is found to maximise the use of your stove fan, however we have provided you with some top tips for fitting your stove fan to help avoid this problem!
Best Pick Stove Fan – Tomersun Twin Blade
- Mini Size--3.9 Inches height suitable for the super small space on stove top
- No Batteries or Electricity required--The stove fan uses the heat from the stove surface to spin,adjust its speed automatically with the stove surface temperature
- Longer lifetime--There is a Bi-metallic safety device in the base of the fan.If the surface temperature rises above around 300C,the safety device gently elevates the front of the fan to protect the TEG and motor.
- Whisper-quiet--The only moving part is the blade assembly.You won't even know this fan is there,but you'll FEEL the WARMTH!
- Less Consumption,More Efficiency--Reduce the fuel consumption and make the room warmer quickly
Why have one fan when you can have two? Whilst our budget pick is a single fan from Tomersun, this twin model, although more pricey is our best pick for a reason. It really helps spread the heat from your Stove around your room and with open doors around your house too.
The height of the Tomersun twin blade fan is also great, measuring just 3.9 inches high, it is great for fitting above a stove that doesn’t have much space above it.
Best Budget Stove Fan – Tomersun 3 Blade Stove Fan
- Compact Size--8.7 x 6.7 x 3.6 inches,the material is aluminum.
- No Batteries or Electricity required--The stove fan uses heat from the stove surface to spin,adjust its speed automatically with the stove surface temperature
- Longer lifetime--There is a Bi-metallic safety device in the base of the fan.If the surface temperature rises above around 300℃,the safety device gently elevates the front of the fan to protect the TEG and motor.
- Whisper-quiet--The only moving part is the blade assembly.You don't even know this fan is there,but you FEEL the WARMTH!
- Less Consumption ,More Efficiency--Reduce the fuel consumption and make the room warmer quickly
The Tomersun 3 blade stove fan, just like your run of the mill regular stove fan, but with a fantastic price point and from a brand that only deals in stove fans. Don’t get me wrong I am a big fan of VonHaus and their fans, but a brand that dedicates what they do to stove fans is always a plus.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no way to control to speed of which the fan moves, or an on/off switch for your fan, due to them running off thermoelectricity. Therefore if your room feels as though it is getting too warm, simply remove the stove fan from the top of the wood burning stove until you feel the need for it again.
Stove fans should work on any wood burning stove. The main thing that you need to ensure is that there is space at the back of the stove for the air to flow through and also that the stove reaches the minimum temperature for the fan that you have purchased (see article for more details).
All stove fans have different noise levels – although most are made with the consideration that they are going to be used indoors and therefore noise levels need to be kept to a minimum. It is important to check product details to make sure that your stove fan isn’t going to be too loud for your room, however I always found that once putting the television on at a normal volume I couldn’t hear the stove fan at all.