Skip to content

Tiny house wood stoves – Are they worth it? (Solved)

  • by
A tiny house wood stove with wood underneath

Wood-burning stoves are a fantastic heating option for tiny houses.

They work by providing radiant heat from burning wood in a small chamber.

Tiny house wood stoves are a very efficient way of winterizing your entire tiny house and provide long-lasting heat throughout the day. You can also use them to cook meals and dry laundry more quickly.

In this article, we discuss the best wood-burning stoves for tiny houses, how small they can be, how they work, as well as their pros and cons and some essential equipment you’ll need for your wood stove. Let’s go.

Can you put a wood stove in a tiny house?

Yes, tiny houses can have wood stoves. They are a popular off-grid option for people who want to winterize their tiny house and are able to access wood for fuel.

Tiny house wood stoves are mainly put in the living area of the property.

They usually feature a fireplace, chimney & heat guard and are ventilated by flues that are pointed vertically and protected by flashing.

What is the smallest wood burning stove available?

The smallest wood burning stove we could find was the The Dwarf (3 KW) model by Tiny Wood Stove.

It’s dimensions are 17″ height, 10.25″ width and 8.5″ depth.

There are other tiny house wood burning stove options that Tiny Wood Stove offer.

For example, they sell stoves with an oven and log storage. These models are of course larger than their standard stoves. 

Their Dwarf Cookstove combo adds an additional 8″ by 11″ cooking area with two shelves.

And their Wood Storage Stand adds an additional 10.25″ by 10.5″ storage compartment to the bottom of the Dwarf stove.

Although the Dwarf 3 KW the smallest wood stove that Tiny Wood Stove offer, there are other options available online. However, they are considerably larger than the Dwarf 3 KW. 

Small pellet stoves are also a popular choice if fire wood is not easily accessible. These are also available to purchase online and you may even find there are more options to choose from than with tiny house wood burning stoves specifically.

Wood stoves in tiny houses must be small in size, otherwise you could easily overheat your small space.

How do wood burning stoves work in tiny homes?

Tiny house wood stoves provide radiant heat by burning firewood, which is a cost effective way to winterize your small space.

Wood stoves allow you to control the amount of fuel (wood) you add to the fire, as well as the air flow available to the fire, meaning that nothing is wasted and heat is recycled efficiently. 

The stove compartment (firebox) is where your wood is burned. This also contains the vents for you to control the air flow in.

Next, a stove pipe allows you to vent your stove comparment and expel waste products. 

Lastly, a flue pipe and chimney allows your tiny house wood stove to run through the roof or wall and to the outside of your property.

tiny house wood burning stove by Build Tiny
The tiny house wood stove in La Sombra house by Build Tiny

Wood-burning stoves in tiny houses work by providing air flow to the firebox. You can increase or decrease the air flow with a lever (usually at the bottom of the stove).

The air usually comes in to the top of the firebox.

The less air flow that you provide to the stove, the slower the wood will burn and less heat it will give out. 

On the other hand, the more air flow you provide, the quicker the burn will be and more heat will be pumped out.

The firebox usually has a door with a glass panel that you can open to add more wood and view the fire with.

Tiny house wood burning stoves are more efficient than traditional fireplaces in regular-sized homes. This is because, rather than heat escaping up a chimney, the fire is enclosed in the stove and air can only enter via the vents and leave via the stovepipe/flue.

This allows for secondary combustion where the waste gases produced from the stove are also burned to provide additional heat.

How to install a wood burning stove in your tiny house

Stove Compartments

There are many parts to a tiny house wood stove that we have illustrated below.

Parts of a tiny house wood stove by cozyarchitect

We’ve already covered the firebox and how the air vents work. We’ll also talk about how to install your pipe and flue in the next section.

However, it’s important to know how to set up your stove along with a heat shield, making sure that your tiny house wood stove is safe.

Here are two videos we found to be super helpful when it comes to installing your stove compartments.

Pipes and Flues

Tiny houses don’t have fireplaces in the same way as regular homes.

Traditional fireplaces have a hood and masonry that contains the flue, but this simply isn’t practical in a tiny house on wheels. You won’t find a chimney breast or hearth (flooring that extends out into the room) in a tiny house either.

Stove pipes and flues can be installed in tiny houses via a hole in the ceiling rafters. 

Here’s a video from tiny house wood stove showing how this couple managed to install their tiny house wood stove pipe.

The first step was to drill a hole in the ceiling rafters, then remove the roof insulation and drill another hole through the roof top for the flue to come out of.

They used a plumb line to make sure that the holes they drilled were centred to the stove in the house.

Next, they attached a box to the ceiling inside the home where the holes were drilled.

Single wall pipes, double pipes and a chimney cap are connected with clamps and brackets and then lowered from the roof, through the box in the ceiling, down to the top of the stove.

An important part to remember is to install a gasket on the pipe so that it sits on the section where the flue protrudes from the roof. This is then secured down and sealant is used to stop water from entering through any gaps.

Using a gasket properly insures no water leakage into your tiny house interior from where the flue exits the roof.

Advantages of wood stoves

There are a lot of advantages to having a wood-burning stove in your tiny house.

The main benefits are that they use fuel in a highly efficient way, compared to other heat sources such as tiny house electric heaters. They put out a high amount of heat with a low amount of fuel.

Sine they create heat by burning dry wood, there are no electricity costs whatsoever.

The only infrastructure you need is your stove and flue. This means you can be completely off-grid and still heat your tiny house.

Using wood is an eco-friendly solution and has lower emissions compared to burning fossil fuels for heat.

They create a long-lasting, satisfying heat that radiates through the whole of your small space.

Some other advantages to consider are:

  • Less firewood used compared to open fireplaces in regular homes
  • Longer fires than open fireplaces
  • Excellent heat control using air vents
  • Provides a natural and cozy ambience for your tiny house
  • Can be used in conjunction with tiny house heat pumps to winterize the whole home
close up of wood burning stove in build tiny house
A close view of the small wood burning stove in the Piwakawaka tiny house by Build Tiny

Disadvantages of wood stoves

However, there are some aspects of wood-burning stoves in tiny houses that people are not so fond of.

The main reason is that tiny house wood burning stoves are quite costly to purchase and install.

Using portable heaters (gas or electric), for example, are far cheaper than installing all of the relevant stove parts.

Furthermore, wood-burning stoves have to be maintained periodically.

The glass doors have to be cleaned.

Ash has to be cleared from the tray.

The final disadvantage we thought of was that they are always hot to touch. However, a fire guard can help protect you if you forget.

Tiny house wood stove essentials

Heat shields

Heat shields are an important piece of equipment to use, especially with tiny house wood stoves.

This is because furniture, fixtures, walls and household items will be closer to your stove because you have less overall space in your home.

Heat shields are important safety requirements for tiny house wood stoves as they provide protection between clearances. 

Tiny Wood Stove talks about how to use heat shields to protect your tiny house and use a wood stove safely.

Fireplace tools

Fireplace tools are essential to run and maintain your tiny house wood stove.

These include items such as brushes, tongs, pokers and shovels.

A brush will help you clean the ash and dirt from the tray at the bottom of your firebox, as well as the glass doors.

Tongs and pokers can help you rearrange fire wood in the firebox to allow for more effective combusion and to get the fire going.

Shovels are more used for coal stoves rather than tiny house wood stoves, however they still can be useful for moving wood around.

Wood storage

Wood storage is essential for tiny house wood stoves because firewood needs to be kept dry.

Storage solutions like the item below mean you can keep firewood in your tiny house, near the stove.

These will be able to hold enough wood to fuel a small stove for at least a couple of days, meaning you don’t have to venture outside to refill your storages for every fire you light.