Many homes, both new and old, have traditional open fireplaces that were once the main way to both heat and cook for a home.
The heating potential for open fireplaces has always been poor and so to help increase the heat output and efficiency of burning firewood in a home, as well as to reduce emissions, many homeowners have looked to have wood burning stoves installed.
When a wood stove is installed in an existing open fireplace it removes the ability to be able to use and enjoy the experience of an open fire.
This may be a downside to some homebuyers but to others it can be added bonus when buying a house, so does a wood burning stove increase home value?
A wood stove can add value to a house, but it can depend on what a buyer is looking for. Studies have shown that fireplaces in general are a selling point for a home, while wood stoves may help to increase house prices by up to 5%.
We have a number of stoves and open fireplaces in the family and through use of both we’ve changed our minds for which one we would look for in a new home.
We’ve explained why this is the case in more detail below and discussed whether a wood burning stove can add value to a home.
Does A Wood Burning Stove Add Value To A House?
We’ve discussed in another article whether an open fireplace can be a selling point for a home, and in studies it’s shown that it can.
However when it comes to heating a room or a home, open wood burning fireplaces can be highly inefficient.
The Environmental Protection Agency explains that much of the heat produced from an open fireplace can be lost up the chimney instead of being used to warm a home.
Most traditional open fireplaces lose over 90 percent of the fire’s heat out the chimney.EPA
Many homeowners (including us) are now looking for new ways to be able to heat a home without the need to turn on the central heating or use an inefficient open fireplace.
As local air pollution and air quality have also become more of an important and discussed topic in recent years, the issue of emissions from burning firewood in homes has also become more stringent.
For example, in many towns and cities you can’t burn wood in your home unless you have an approved appliance, such as an EPA certified stove in the US or a DEFRA approved stove in the UK.
One of the solutions for these issues can be to install a wood burning or multi fuel stove in your home.
Stoves are commonly installed within existing open fireplaces to help increase the efficiency and heat output of burning wood.
While an open fireplace can be as little as 10% efficient, the efficiency of stoves can be much higher, with efficiency ratings commonly seen between 60% and 80%.
We have two stoves in a family.
Both were installed within existing open fireplaces.
The efficiency ratings of these two stoves are between 70% and 80%, but you can see the actual ratings and more information about our stoves here.
We also have an open fireplace in our living room that we use to enjoy the look and feel of an open fire.
Like many other open fireplaces, ours is very inefficient at heating and so we don’t typically use it as source of heat but more for pleasure purposes.
The amount of heat our stoves put out into a room compared to our open fireplace is huge, and so we’ve been considering installing a wood stove in this fireplace.
We were more than happy when we bought this house as it had an open fireplace but because of how inefficient it is for heating we’d prefer to have a wood stove in any new house we look for.
So will installing a wood burning stove add value to our home?
It can depend on a number of factors.
- If a buyer wants to be able to use an open fireplace but there is a wood stove installed then this may not add any value to the house for that particular buyer.
- If a homebuyer sees our wood stove and understands how they can be a great addition to help heat a home then they may be willing to pay more for the house.
- If a buyer isn’t bothered about either an open fireplace or a wood stove then it may or may not increase home value.
As we have both an open fireplace and wood burning stoves we understand the differences in ability to heat a home.
Stoves are typically able to generate much more heat from every piece of firewood compared to traditional open fireplaces and so when we look to buy our next home we’ll definitely be looking out for one that has a stove.
If a house has a wood stove rather than an open fireplace then it may sway us to pay a little bit more.
How Much Value Does A Wood Burning Stove Add?
There is no clear answer as to how much value a wood burning stove can add to a home, but some studies and research show that there is a positive trend towards fireplaces in general adding value to a home.
Angie’s List explain that a survey undertaken in 2013 by the National Association of Realtors found that if a home had a fireplace it would have a strong and positive effect on its selling price.
However, this survey doesn’t mention whether stoves were included within the subject of wood burning fireplaces.
Direct Stoves state that they have conducted their own research and found that in the majority of cases a wood stove can increase the value of a home by up to 5%.
For us and our stoves, the value they bring to our homes will be the ability to burn wood efficiently in our homes while producing a great amount of heat over a number of years, as well as:
- Providing a focal point for the rooms.
- Being able to heat the rooms they were sized for.
- Helping to reduce emissions when burning wood.
- Lasting for many years.