A wood heater can come in many different forms besides just a stove. You can have furnaces, boilers, chimineas, fireplaces, fire pits, fire rings, and many other forms. They can be an indoor or outdoor wood heater. The type of heater you are looking for will depend on your heating needs.
Radiant or Convective
A radiant wood heater generates most of its heat from the fire and flames itself and heat the room directly. A convection heater circulates and warms the air in the room.
A roaring fireplace is nice to enjoy, but they are not great heaters, often getting less than ten percent efficiency. Fireplaces are also costly to build and need a lot of materials. A fireplace can only heat the area right in front of the open flame. A lot of heat is lost to the chimney and to the back of the fireplace. You can use a fireplace insert to help improve effiency. This is a metal hollow structure built into the fireplace iteself. This will then allow for more conductive heating, which will improve efficiency in heating the room.
Pot Belly Stove
A pot belly stove or other similar stoves are more efficient than a fireplace. Newer models can have up to 50% efficiency, although most older, antique type stoves will be in the 25-40% range. These stoves use both radiant and convective heat and are an excellent choice to heat areas where a large stove, fireplace and chimney structure won't fit. Pot belly stoves can burn very hot so use caution when using them. There is some adjusting with the levels of heat and wood that will produce a comfortable temperature. You may need to adjust the airflow with the unit.
Slow combustion heaters
These wood heaters have the best overall efficiency. Some units can be up to 70%. Their efficiency is due to the airtight construction in the firebox. In addition, there are airflow controls and inlets which help the conductive airflow, as well as secondary combustion chambers to make sure that the fuel, wood, is burned entirely. These include most of your definition of wood stoves. In general, these wood heaters are best for heata large areas such as a house due to their efficiency and design in moving airflow.
Wood Stove Parts Used Wood Stoves Wood Stove Reviews Pot Belly Stove Cast Iron Pellet Stove Firewood Chimneys Chiminea Wood Stove Pipe Wood Stove Blower Antique Wood Stove Wood Heater Wood Stove Steamers
Ashley AustroflammAvalon Blaze King BreckwellBuck Century Dovre Drolet Dutchwest Fisher Hearthstone Jotul Lopi Napoleon MorsoRegency Soapstone Timberline US Stove Vermont Castings VogelzangWhitfield Pellet Stove