Heat powered wood stove fan is a valuable and efficient home-heating appliance. It produces intense heat that can be felt almost straight away. Above all, the stoves make an unmatched focal point for any living space.
A common challenge with the stoves, however, is that the heat is rarely felt a few feet away from the fire source. This means that unless you’re seating close to the stove, you may not feel as warm as you’d wish.
This problem can be remedied with a quality wood stove fan. In this guide, we discuss how these fans work and how to select the best one. First, let’s review some of the best wood stove fans;
6. Best Heat Powered Wood Stove Fan Reviews 2020
1. ECOFAN AirMax Wood Stove Fan
A genuine heat-powered stove fan that sits on top of a freestanding stove, the ECOFAN Air Max boosts air circulation in the room by 38%. It also increases heat distribution efficiency by up to 18%, resulting in faster space-heating and an evenly heated space devoid of cold spots.
Interestingly, Eco fans are self-regulating. In other words, as the stove heats up, the speed of the fan increases; thus, more heat is circulated throughout the room. And when the temperature reduces, the fan also slows down and eventually shuts off automatically when the heat goes out.
The Large Eco blows 175 cubic feet of moisture every minute (thus the 175 CFM rating). Beside, the impressively quiet fan comes with a two-year warranty and is available in black, nickel, and gold finishes. For the best performance, the stove should maintain temperatures between 230-650F (110-345C)
- Warms your rooms 38% faster
- Save up to 18% in fuel
- No electricity needed
- Two-year warranty
- Most expensive item on this list
2. Home-Complete Heat Powered Stove Fan
The fan is also very quiet. It turns at 900RPM and moves 170-190 cubic feet of air per minute, but remains noiseless throughout. That’s because the only moving part in the fan is the blade assembly.
Cleaning the Home-Complete is easy. All that’s needed is occasionally dusting it off and putting some light oil in the blade shaft. The fan should be placed at least six inches away from the stove pipe.
The Home-Complete lasts forever and comes with a 10-year warranty that shows how much confidence the manufacturer has in the product.
Another great stove fan, and way cheaper than the EcoFan, the Home-Complete also relies 100% on heat energy. You don’t need electricity and it’s fully automatic. Once the stove reaches a high enough temperature, the fan begins to run automatically. The hotter the fire, the faster the blades turn.
- Depends 100% on heat energy
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Lasts forever
- 10-year warranty
- Might take slightly longer to warm up
3. VODA 4-Blade Heat Powered Stove Fan
Stylish, durable, and efficient, the VODA 4-Blade fan also makes a great stove fan. The fan runs without electricity, batteries, or any cords. Instead, it generates its power using the heat drawn from the stove. The stove is designed for usage on freestanding stoves with surface temperatures between 185-66F.
Furthermore, the fan base and blades are made from anodized aluminum which neither rusts nor corrodes. At 2.56 pounds, the fan is also neither too light nor too heavy. With regards to dimensions, however, it’s larger than most of the products on this list. The VODA measures 8.3 x 4.7 x 8.3 inches.
The fan starts spinning when the temperature at the base reaches 185F. And it’s fully automatic meaning that as soon as the required temperature is reached, the blades begin rotating with no further intervention. The fan speed also increases or decreases depending on the strength of the flame.
- Heat powered. No batteries, electricity needed
- Innovative, durable design
- Four fan blades for maximum output
- Silent operation
- Plenty of heat is required for the fan to work
4. VonHaus 4-Blade Heat Powered Wood Stove Fan
The VonHaus works in three simple steps. First, the thermoelectric module detects a minimum temperature of 140F. Then, the module kicks into action and forces the blades to begin rotating. Once that happens, heat is effectively and economically dispersed throughout your room. It moves air at the rate of 150 to 190 CFM.
The fan is made from premium black aluminum construction and features four blades for maximum output. The self-regulating fan automatically adjusts its speed depending on the temperature in the room. Better still, the temperature gauge lets you monitor and optimize stove fan efficiency.
The VonHaus operates at between 140F to 660F. Temperatures beyond 660 Fahrenheit can destroy the fan.
- 100% heat powered. No electricity needed
- Works with wood stoves, pellet heaters, and wood log burners
- High CFM rate of up to 190
- Sturdy, black steel construction for unmatched durability
- Too much heat will destroy the fan
5. TOMERSUB 3-Blade Heat Powered Stove Fan
The TOMERSUB fan uses thermoelectric technology to convert a temperature difference into electricity. Located at the center section of the fan’s base is a unique thermoelectric module. When the heater is ON, the module detects heat, and when a specific temperature is reached, it triggers the fan motor.
When sufficient heat is detected, the fan blades begin to rotate automatically. Once the heat goes out, the fan stops to rotate, again, automatically. The operating temperatures, however, are strictly between 185F to 660F. Temperatures below or above this range can compromise the functioning or output of the fan. Operating the stove above the recommended temperatures also voids the manufacturer’s warranty.
The fan measures 8.7 x 6.7 x 3.6 inches and is made from aluminum. For longer life, a bimetallic safety device in the base of the fan that automatically elevates the device to protect the TEG and motor whenever excessive temperatures are detected.
- Cheapest product on this list at under $30
- Compact size and a strong, durable build
- Bi-metallic safety device offers extra protection
- Whisper quiet operation
- Product may be damaged at temperatures over 660F
6. Gala Fire N429 Heat Powered Wood Stove Fan
Finally, another stove fan with a two-year warranty, the Gala Fire stands out as a self-operated, easy to use stove fan. Once placed on top of the stove, it works automatically. The fan also runs faster when the heat increases and slows down when the temperature reduces. It is tranquil and works 100% on heat energy.
Onto other features, the N429 is made from anodized aluminum and has four blades. It measures 7.08 x 3.73 x 7.44 inches and blows heat at up to 440 feet per minute at maximum speed.
For optimal performance, the temperature at the base should be maintained at 122F to 662F. In addition, the fan runs at 1,000 RPM and delivers 125CFM at maximum speed.
The N429 comes with a magnetic stove thermometer to help you monitor operating temperatures. Aside from the 24-month warranty, purchasers also enjoy lifetime technical support.
- Burns less fuel; generates more heat
- Magnetic stove thermometer included
- 2-year international warranty
- Whisper-quiet operation; no noise
- Beyond 662F, the fan will be damaged
Heat Powered Wood Stove Fan Buying Guide
With the reviews done, let’s now focus on how to choose the best wood stove fan for your home. We’ll start with a definition;
What is a Wood Stove Fan?
A wood stove fan, also popularly known as a blower fan, is a special fan designed to disperse the warm air produced by a wood stove.
Naturally, warm air rises to the top of the room with colder air taking up space close to the floor. This is usually the case with wood stove heaters in the absence of a blowing mechanism. The warm air from the stove rises to the ceiling, leaving occupants surrounded by cold or not-warm-enough air.
Woodstove fans solve this problem by blowing the warmth from the stove throughout the room. It also solves the issue of heat concentrating close to the fire. A blower fan helps to spread out the heat so that it reaches every corner of the room.
The most significant difference between heat-powered and conventional fans, though, is that they draw their power/energy from heat rather than electricity. The standard fan used in the home runs on electric power; wood stove fans run 100% on heat energy.
How Wood Burning Stove Fan Works
The majority of wood stove fans are powered either a Thermoelectric Power Generator (TEG) or a Sterling Engine. Let’s delve deeper to understand each of these technologies.
TEG, which is the more popular of the two technologies, involves a thermoelectric module that consists of negative and positive semiconductors.
When heat moves from the hot area i.e., the stove to the cold regions of the metal fan, an electric current is created via a phenomenon known as Seeback Effect. The electrical energy created then causes a rotary motor in the fan to start rotating, leading to the desired fan motion.
TEG fans are incredibly reliable as they use heat from the stove; there’s no need for an external source of energy. Above all, since they require no moving parts, they’re very efficient.
Sterling Engine Fans
Sterling Engine fans also utilize the heat produced by the burning stove. However, instead of converting the heat to electric energy, it converts it to mechanical energy.
Sterling engines compress air at different temperatures creating a cycle of compression and expansion within the fan unit. The engines comprise two chambers. At any given time, there will be warm air in one chamber and cold air in the other.
During operation, heat in the chamber with warm air forces a piston to expand while the cold air in the other chamber causes the piston to retract. This, in effect, creates a mechanical motion, causing the fan blades to rotate. The rotating blades, in turn, blow air throughout the room. The mechanical motion in Sterling Engines necessitates significant maintenance.
Benefits of Heat Powered Stove Fans
The biggest advantage of wood stove fans, obviously, is the improved heat circulation. Without a fan, the heat might not reach people sitting several feet away from the stove. A wood stove fan blows the heat and circulates it throughout the space so that it reaches not just everyone, but also every corner of the room. Aside from that, stove fans are also beneficial for the following reasons;
- Ensure faster heat circulation
Wood burning stoves mainly depend on convection (and radiation, to a smaller extent) to circulate air throughout the room. Heat movement by convection or radiation, in a quiet space, can be pretty slow. A blower fan helps to speed things up so that you don’t have to wait for too long to have the entire room warm. To cool your room, check fans that cool like air conditioners.
- Depends 100% on heat energy
With wood stove fans, you don’t have to worry about energy bills. First off, they don’t require electricity to run. Moreover, you don’t even need batteries or any other energy source – the heat from the stove is sufficient. Secondly, the stove won’t burn more wood just because it’s running a fan as it requires no extra energy to rotate.
- Help you save energy
Rather than require additional power to turn the blades, wood stove fuels will reduce the amount of fuel you use. The fan does this in two ways. First, with the fan circulating, you’re guaranteed to keep most of the heat indoors. The amount of heat lost through the windows and ceiling is bound to reduce. Secondly, the improved circulation means you may not need too big a fire to attain the desired indoor temperatures.
Even the most expensive stove fans cost about $200. And, these are exceptionally efficient fans with smart controls for easy handling and maintenance. A standard unit costs less than $100. Indeed, some magnificent wood stove fans cost as little as $30. You can also check then best fans that blow cold air.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Heat Powered Wood Stove Fan
Every consumer has their preferences. But, there are specific considerations every wood stove fan shopper needs to prioritize. These include;
- Size: Size refers not just to the physical dimensions of the fan but also the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) rating. The CFM rating is the number of cubic feet of air blown by the fan in every minute. If you have a larger house/room, choose a higher CFM fan. Smaller spaces, however, don’t require a very high CFM rating. Remember that higher CFM fans might be more expensive.
- Automatic control: A stove fan with automatic control automatically detects that it’s within a specific temperature and triggers the motor. This means you don’t need to switch the fan ON and OFF. In a manually operated fan, however, the fan must be turned ON whenever you want it to run and OFF when you don’t need the blowing motion. This creates an unnecessary inconvenience.
- Durability: Wood stove fans sit directly on top of the stove and come in direct contact with high amounts of heat for many hours during the heating season. Therefore, durability can be a challenge. Check to ensure that the fan is made from durable materials that can withstand the high temperatures. Plastic parts, for instance, melt quickly under significant heat. Soft materials that accumulate heat also present a burn hazard. Pick a fan made from steel or anodized aluminum, with no plastic parts.
- Heat sensitivity: The fan’s sensitivity to heat is critical. If the fan is not sensitive enough to heat, it may fail to run when it needs to. On the other hand, if it’s too sensitive, it could end up running all the time. You must find a fan with the right sensitivity.
- Quietness: All fans create noise to a certain degree. That, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about the amount of noise produced. Check the noise rating of the fan and choose the one with the lowest decibel value you can find.
- Warranty/guarantee: Pay attention to warranty and the conditions. The majority of manufacturers offer one-year warranties with some even offering an option to purchase an extended warranty. As such, you may get a one-year warranty plus, say, two years of extended warranty. The longer the warranty, the better! On top of that, check the warranty terms and conditions. Each heat-powered fan has a temperature limit and preferences for the location of the stove. You may be denied a warranty if you breach these conditions.
- Ease of installation: For trouble-free installation, choose a fan that will fit comfortably next to the piping on the exterior of the wood stove.
Wood Stove Fan FAQs
The following are answers to other questions you might have when shopping for a heat-powered wood stove fan;
- What is an Eco Fan?
An eco fan is a modern type of stove fan that combines efficiency with performance. When the fire is small, the fan rotates slowly (fewer rotations per minute). But, as the fire increases, the speed of the fan also increases. The result is that you get the amount of heat you need without wasting any energy.
- What is a “temperature threshold?”
Also known as start-up temperature, a temperature threshold is a temperature required for the fan’s motor to begin rotating. Until this threshold is reached, the fan will not work. It’s advisable to find a fan with a low-temperature limit so that your fan starts to work sooner. The choice should also depend on the size of your stove. For smaller stoves, you need an even lower temperature threshold.
- What’s the rattling sound I keep hearing?
A fan in optimal condition wouldn’t produce any rattling sounds. If your fan is producing strange sounds, something is likely broken. A rattling sound, in particular, is often a sign of damaged blades. Check to make sure that all the blades are in position and not out of alignment. Also, check for dust inside the rotating motor. Some dusting might be needed.
- The fan won’t start. What could be wrong?
Begin by checking the wires in the motor. Are they properly connected? If so, then it could be a problem with the blades. Try spinning them manually to see if they rotate freely. If the blades are working great, the issue could be the temperature difference between the base and top of the fan. A certain temperature threshold, as discussed above, is required for the motor to get into action.
- Where should I place the fan?
To maximize the performance of the fan, position it on a smooth, flat surface on top of your stove. It should be around the middle or slightly towards the back of the stove. Avoid placing it towards the front. For safety reasons, the fan should also be as far away from the floor as possible. Otherwise, the fan will become very hot. Above all, leave sufficient clearance all around the fan for unobstructed heat/air circulation.
- Can I use the wood stove fan with any stove?
First off, not all stoves are compatible with fans. Propane heaters, gas heaters, and similar units, for instance, don’t give off enough heat to power a stove fan. Moreover, very few of these stoves have a flat surface for fan installation. Fireplaces and fire inserts may only not work well with your typical fan. Aside from the standard wood stove, the only other place you can use the fan is on an oil-filled radiator. Make sure to speak to an HVAC professional about this, though.
In a nutshell, if you have a wood stove fan, it would be in your best interests to invest in a complementary stove fan. The fans are inexpensive and a significant asset as they help not only with heat distribution but also with faster dispersion of the heat. Above all, stove fans help save energy!