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[2024] Best Indoor Wood Burning Furnace

Our Store Favorite: Drolet Heat Commander (DF02003)

Price: $

Ahhh, the Heat Commander. This is the most popular wood furnace we sell. That said, it's not perfect. Here's a quick rundown of the main specs and then I'll tell you what I like and don't like about this unit. 

  • Where is it Made? Quebec, Canada (yay, North America)
  • Where does it ship from? It generally ships direct from the manufacturer. That means it'll either come from their warehouse in South Bend, IN or Madison Heights, VA.
  • EPA Certified: you know it!
  • Tax Credit Eligible: ✅ (get 30% of the appliance and installation cost off on your taxes, up to $2,000)
  • How much area can it heat?  Anywhere between 1,000 sq ft (if you get temps below 0℉) to 2,500 sq ft if you live in a climate that's a bit more mild
  • Total heat output? The nominal (i.e. theoretical) heat output is 75,000 BTU. The realistic max heat output is 47,052 BTU/h

Bad news first... what do people dislike about the Heat Commander?

  • Doesn't run when the power is out. The Heat Commander has electronic combustion control (basically a valve that controls the airflow. More air = more burn, less air = less burn). Safety Note: the furnace keeps from having a runaway burn if your power goes out by automatically closing the air flow control after ten minutes of no power. It has a backup capacitor just for this purpose.
  • Made in Canada and not the United States. If you're looking for American made, this isn't the product.
  • Only burns wood. Some stoves can handle coal and or pellets as well. This furnace is only rated to burn wood.
  • Have to rake ash to the ash grate. Some older units automatically cycle the ash to the ash drawer so the only thing you have to do is add wood. With this unit, you have to rake the coals over the grate so the ashes fall through to the ash drawer (most people don't mind too much though).

Here's what people do like:

  • Attaches to your HVAC system so you can pipe heat anywhere in your house. This is nice because you can stick the thermostat in whichever room you prefer.
  • Handles low temperatures well. One customer used it in -22 °F (counting windchill) and it kept their house at 72 °F.
  • High efficiency. Wayyy more efficient than old wood furnaces, and easier to get a fire started as well.
  • Knowledgeable support. I've talked to Alain, Jonathan, Kenneth and lots of other folks on the team and they're always a huge help. Easy to get ahold of and knowledgeable.


Newest Arrival: Fire Chief FC100E

Price: $

This is our newest addition to the indoor furnace options, but it's been made by HY-C for over 40 years.

  • Where is it Made? St. Louis, MO (another Midwesterner!)
  • Where does it ship from? Straight from St. Louis to your doorstep.
  • EPA Certified: Yes
  • Tax Credit Eligible: ✅ (get 30% of the appliance and installation cost off on your taxes, up to $2,000)
  • How much area can it heat?  Up to 2,500 sq ft
  • Total heat output? The maximum (i.e. theoretical) heat output is 143,500 BTU. The realistic average heat output is 46,435 BTU/h

Ok, so what are some negatives about the Fire Chief?

  • Uses more wood than other units. It is EPA certified, but a unit like the Drolet Heat Commander or Kuuma VF 100 will use less wood to heat your house.
  • Some buyers had issues with the unit leaking. This seems pretty abnormal; most buyers have zero problems with this, but it's worth mentioning.
  • Only burns wood. Some stoves can handle coal and or pellets as well. This furnace is only rated to burn wood.
  • Small-ish ash grate. Honestly, most people just scoop out the ash with a little shovel rather than using the ash grate and drawer combo, but if you want to use the ash drawer, the grate is a little small.

Here's what people do like:

  • Pumps out the heat. You will stay toasty with this furnace, if you size it right for your home.
  • Wayyy more efficient than old stoves or furnaces. The manufacturer has made some great improvements over old stoves.
  • US-Based Support. They don't hide their contact information. You just reach out to their support line and they pick right up! 800-325-7076. Shucks, they even flew out to one customer's house to make sure the setup was right.

Most Expensive + Highest Quality: Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100
Gasification Wood-Burning Furnace

Price: $7,895 + shipping

The Kuuma Vapor-Fire 100 is the cream of the crop. Unsurprisingly, it's also the most expensive. If money is no object, and you want to get a lovely wood furnace, this is a great option.

  • Where is it Made? Tower, MN 🇺🇸 (funnily enough, it's not too far from Canada)
  • Where does it ship from? It ships directly from the manufacturer in Tower, MN. (Note: they give you
  • EPA Certified: you know it!
  • How much area can it heat?  Anywhere up to 3,500 sq ft (what a monster 😈)
  • Total heat output? On high 60,000 BTU/h

Bad news first... what do people dislike about the Heat Commander?

  • Price. This is definitely a premium product, and is outside the price range a lot of people can afford.
  • No window in the door. Just a little quibble; some people like being able to watch the flame if they spend time down in their basement.
  • Only burns wood. Some stoves can handle coal and or pellets as well. This furnace is only rated to burn wood.
  • Not much else... one buyer said the only thing they didn't like is it's hard to remember the spelling of 'Kuuma'

Here's what people do like:

  • American made. Laampa Manufacturing recently upgraded their facility in Tower, MN. It's a small town and I'm sure the jobs make a big difference.
  • Insanely efficient. Most people use juse 3-5 cords of wood to heat their home for the whole winter with this unit. That. Is. Nuts 🥜.
  • Great support. You can talk directly to the manufacturer (if Daryl still works there, they say he's great to speak with)

How I Chose the Best Indoor Wood Burning Furnace

To pick the best furnace, I used a mixture of customer feedback, my experience with the manufacturer and product specs. Spoiler alert: it's hard to find a "best" option, so a lot of it depends on what you like or dislike, as well as what you're looking for. Sometimes you get a product that has a great value, but comes with a few less bells and whistles.

Why Should You Trust My Opinion on Wood Burning Furnaces?

Great question! Since starting work at Renovation Reserve, I've had to learn more about wood burning products than I ever thought I would. I've been lucky enough to talk directly to manufacturers and have them answer tons of random questions about wood burning products. While I don't know everything, I am studying for my NFI certification and have loved every moment of this wood burning journey.

Other Resources

If you've got your heating taken care of and are interested in an outdoor kitchen, we just released a review on Mont Alpi vs Weber. Check it out!

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