An Overview of the different types of stoves

Tiled stoves, Fireplaces with inserts and more: the different types of stoves in comparison

Come home in the evening and make yourself comfortable in front of a crackling fire. Warm up on the bench of a tiled stove (Kachelofen) after a winter walk. Or during the transitional season in the evening you can quickly create a warm room with a fireplace. There are many reasons for a fireplace in your home. But which type of stove is right for your personal living situation, how do the stove types differ from one another?

© Sommerhuber
© Schafranek

The tiled stove: solid and masoned

The tiled stove owes its name to the tiles. They do not only serve as a decorative element, but together with the interior made of chamotte, give off the cozy heat over a longer period. The tiled stove (Kachelofen) is an individual product and is build by the stove fitter on site. The combustion chamber and the flues are traditionally made of ceramic material. With a tiled stove, it takes about two hours after it has been heated up before it emits its maximum heat. 

Permanent heat release

The reason is the heat accumulation characteristics of the chamotte, which charges quickly at high temperatures in a short time but releases the heat slowly and continuously. Then the tiled stove (Kachelofen) will provide hours of warmth. The radiant heat does not heat the air but surfaces in the rooms and is perceived as very cozy. The radiant heat is ideal for allergy sufferers or during the cold season, as the room air is not dried out. A study by the Austrian Stove Fitters‘ Testing and Research Institute also proves that it helps you relax more quickly. Depending on the size of the stove and the heat requirement, firing the stove more 1 to 3 times a day is sufficient.

The tiled stove (Kachelofen) has a long tradition in Austria and the other countries of the Alps. Many people are familiar with tiled stoves in green or blue tile optics in huts. Today all shapes are possible – with curves or with heating of a bench. Originally, there were no viewing windows into the combustion chamber of the tiled stove (Kachelofen). The trend is currently clearly to have a glass pane in the door which allows looking at the fire.

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© Spartherm

An open fireplace and stoves

The open fireplace is well known to everyone and is particularly widespread in the Anglo-American region, as it often provides scenery for a romantic evening in films and television and is used to hang up Santa Claus‘ stockings. The open form is hardly energy efficient, as a large part of the heat is lost directly through the chimney.

A ‘fireplace’ is a prefabricated metal stove with a glass pane. Fireplaces can stand freely in the room and have a higher heating output than open fireplaces. They give off heat quickly after the wood has been lit. As soon as the fire has gone out, no more heat is given off. Some models are provided with soapstone or tiles, which provide slightly longer heat storage effects, but not to the same extent as with a tiled stove.

This also explains the price differences between the various types of stove: a prefabricated metal stove ‘fireplace’ is cheaper than an individually designed and handcrafted tiled stove.

Cooking with the tiled free standing range cooker

With wood you can not only heat rooms, but also cook excellently. A tiled free standing range cooker works on the same principle as the tiled stove: it charges its heat storage at high temperatures in a short time and releases the heat into the room again over a longer period. Cooking is of course possible immediately. If the visible surface of the stove is mainly made with tiles, it is called a tiled cooker. If you want to heat another room with one stove or generate hot water, a cooker with flues added – like the tiled stove –  is a good choice. On the one hand, it gives off heat via the stove top and at the same time ensures mild radiant heat over the tile surface.

© Sommerhuber
© Angermayer

The right choice: the way to the stove fitter

Regardless of which model you want to choose, so that you can find the right stove for your current life situation, you should get information from the stove fitter (“Hafner”). He advises on choosing the right model, sets up the stove, provides information on subsidies and advises on correct heating.