1. Closed combustion stoves are available in different sizes, so you must first determine the size of the room or rooms you want to heat up. Calculate the size of your room like this: multiply the width of the room by its length and the height of the ceiling. This gives you the size in cubic meters. The sales agent will assist you with the size you need (the stoves are measured in kilowatts).
2. Stoves are made of cast iron or steel. Cast iron stoves usually have a longer warranty, but this varies from stockist to stockist; make sure before you buy. More expensive models are sometimes available with an optional enamel coating; this looks good but is difficult to repair.
3. Cast iron stoves get very hot so keep in mind how close to your furniture the stove will be located. A big stove might heat up the room well, but then there may not be enough space for your couch!
4. Stoves from China are usually cheaper than stoves from Europe. If you are considering a Chinese stove, make sure it meets European Union standards (often the case if the design is European, but the stove is manufactured in China).
5. Installation costs will vary as much as the stove itself. Keep this in mind when you start making calculations. The higher your ceiling (or the roof in a double-storey house), the more chimney flue you’ll need – an expensive item!
6. Most chimney flues are made of stainless steel, which eventually turns a copper colour because of the heat. If you don’t like it, you can have the flue painted black.
7. On wooden floors you must install a heat-resistant panel under your stove for safety. It can be made of tempered glass, granite or steel. The latter is the cheapest.
8. Some stoves have a convection function – this is usually more expensive but heats up the room more uniformly. An ordinary cast-iron stove warms up the room by means of radiant heat; the closer you are to the stove, the hotter it will be.
9. Make sure your stove has a removable ash pan (this makes it easier to clean) and a handle that will not burn your hand. Some have loose handles – this is a safety mechanism so that children will not accidentally open the door while a fire is lit.10. And remember – with a small stove, you may struggle to fit in the logs, which means you will have to make them smaller by chopping them up. Take into consideration the average length of a log and make sure your fireplace’s door to big enough! Because who needs the hassle when it's cold?