Modern Wood Stoves

When I bought this house, I thought to myself, "Ah - no crummy fireplace to vent away the heat in winter. I like it!". As it turns out, I miss having a fireplace. I also like these stoves. Maybe next winter I can have one to warm my house.

There appears to be only a few brands of modern design wood stoves, Rais, Scan, and Wittus . A somewhat more traditional lineup is offered by Moresoe and even more so (hehe) by Jotul and Countryflame.

Availability is a problem for many of these. Some of the ones that I didn't even bother to mention appear to have appointment-only showrooms in Manhattan (the borough of New York, not the local beach city). However, Rais and Scan are available through Okell's Fireplace, located in Hermosa Beach . Okell's has a different web address than you'd expect.

Of the two, Scan is more "affordable". I think I recall prices starting at about $1600 for a couple of basic Scan ovens. The options I'd like brought it up another maybe $250. The nice thing is that $2k for an occasional-use home furnishing seemed like it was completely over the top a couple years ago. Now it just seems somewhat over the top.

An interesting thought: Some municipalities (for example, Boulder, Co) regulate the use of wood fired stoves. However, many of the Scan and Rais models are listed in their sales literature as ovens, not stoves. (They have an enclosed space above the firebox which comes with an optional door and soapstone liner to be used as an "oven"). I wonder if this is a ploy to avoid being impacted by those regulations?

I checked out prices on 11/27 on the way back from an errand and they are nowhere near what I had remembered. Perhaps our crummy exchange rate has affected them, but I'm getting prices that are about $1000 more than I remember from last year on both Scan and Rais stoves. The available models have changed too, making Rais the leader in the ones I like best.


  1. It is not just Boulder, but the entire CO front range. Wood smoke is a major source of air pollution and excess mortality. Homes that have no other source of heat are exempted from the wood burning ban during temperature inversions.

    Pellet stoves are cleaner. Would you consider one of those?

  2. I probably wouldn't buy a pellet stove. I don't know that I could get pellets in LA and I also have lots of wood at hand.

    I too am concerned about high chimney emissions, but at least the SCAN folks claim to meet US emission laws. They employ several tricks to do so, including preheating the incoming air (which can be drawn from the outside) and combustion chamber design. There is also a role to play for the homeowner, in terms of making sure the fire is hot enough to completely combust the gasses evolved when wood is heated. Fireplaces generally can't do that job, but with proper air metering the ovens can. Apparently, it is common to run these stoves with little to no observable smoke coming from the chimney, a sign of complete combustion.