Here at Wiserwood, we get a lot of questions about how to heat your mini cottage in the fall or winter, as a result, we researched some alternatives and found that wood stoves can be a pretty good option for you to evaluate. We talked to our friends at Cubic Mini Wood Stoves, right here in Quebec, to get some tips and tricks when considering wood stoves to heat your mini cottage or tiny house this winter.
Are wood stoves good for heating a tiny house or a mini cottage?
Absolutely! A wood stove can be a great heating option for your Bunkie or tiny house as it will keep you warm in those wet and damp months of the year. Not only that, but it also removes the humidity in the space, making it much more comfortable for you and your family. You will notice the condensation on your Bunkie’s windows disappear once you turn your wood stove on.
Can you cook on a wood stove?
Yes, you can: you can use it to cook a gourmet meal, from roasts to cakes. In addition, you can cook on both models, even removing the rail on top for a larger cooking surface. And our Grizzly stove has a mini roaster option, which turns the wood stove into a little oven or roaster.
Will the stove generate a lot of smoke outside the cabin?
Not necessarily. You need to choose the model and the brand that are right for you. Look for ones that have a secondary combustion system because those will reignite the smoke produced by the burning wood, generating more heat, burning longer and reducing the smoke coming out the pipe. Both of our models are equipped with this system, it was very important to us when developing the product. Also, make sure that you cure the stove before installing it. Light the stove outside with two to three sections of pipe attached to it and let it burn for up to three hours. This will ensure that the moisture in the paint is removed and that your stove will function correctly.
Are wood stoves safe to use?
Absolutely, as long as they are installed correctly and you take the proper precautions. We think they are much safer than propane or diesel stoves because there are no gas tanks or lines, eliminating the possibility of a potential leak, which could be very dangerous in small spaces.
How do I choose the right model?
Start by laying out your space (furniture, décor, etc.) as it will help you determine how much space you can allocate to the stove. It’s important to choose the right size: too small and it will leave you shivering, too big and it will have you think you are in a sauna. Keep in mind that all wood stoves require clearances to combustibles for them to be safe, so make sure to include this in your calculations.
We always tell our customers that the Cub is made for very small spaces, or spaces used in spring and fall only. The Grizzly is better suited for larger areas or taller spaces with more volume, and for winter use.
How do I install a wood stove?
We provide complete instructions to all our customers and you can also read our comprehensive blog post on our website. But basically, here are a few elements to consider:
- Mounting the stove: choose whether it will be installed on the floor or on a wall and whether you want the stove to take in fresh air from the outside of the mini cottage or not.
- Shielding the stove: make sure to plan to shield the walls or the floor around the stove as well as the pipe.
- Determine pipe length: measure the distance between the top of the stove to one foot higher than the highest point of the roof. This will determine the pipe length you need for your stove as well as how many sections to get.
- Flue pipe exit: your roof materials determine the exit of the flue pipe you need; shingled roofs require different exits than metal roofs. If you are not sure which choice is right for you, call or email your manufacturer so that they can guide you.
- Access to electricity, internet, and tools: depending on where your cabin is located and the amenities around it, make sure all your power tools are charged and that you have access to the instruction manual. It may be a good idea to print a copy for yourself.
Are there any regulations I need to be aware of?
Yes. Both Quebec and Ontario have regulations pertaining to the use of wood stoves in your mini cottages and tiny houses. Therefore, you should check in with your municipality first so that they can help you determine applicable local and provincial regulations.