Temporary Tiny House Living – Wood Stove Installation

The Anderson Family Wanted a Different Wood Stove

In the summer of 2020, my friend Jared Anderson and I were talking about the property they'd just purchased and planned to build a house on.  Then he told me that they were going to live in a tiny house temporarily, while their future home was being built.

When they moved into the larger house, they'd still have a tiny house to sell, rent, or just use as guest housing.  They'd have an asset instead of losing all of that money to rent.

Fast forward a few months and the Anderson family wanted to swap out the wood stove that came with their tiny house for a 5KW Dwarf with a wood Storage Stand.

Their reasons were fourfold:

  1. The existing wood stove isn't made to be used in a tiny space and produced too much heat.
  2. They didn't like the small size of the stove glass that limited their view of the flames.
  3. The stove is off of the ground but storing wood under it was difficult because it didn't contain it well.
  4. The stove is long and stuck into the living room too far - the little Anderson children might get burned.

So, I paid them a visit and swapped out their stove.

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Removing An Existing Wood Stove

There are several things to look for when removing an existing wood stove - especially if you weren't the original installer.  First, check the flue system.  I always look for the type of pipe that is being used, the size of the pipe, how it is installed, and what the outside chimney looks like.  It's easier to replace any worn or defective parts when removing a stove than later.

In the Anderson's case, I needed to install a 5" - 6" adapter to fit the Dwarf 5KW -which uses 5" pipe- to the existing flue system - 6" pipe.  I also noticed that the existing stove was installed without a telescoping pipe.  That makes removing or maintenance the stove much more difficult.  I eventually got the stove out without having to remove the entire flue system but it took longer than it would have if I'd had a telescoping pipe.

Once the stove was removed, I inspected the insides of all of the flue parts to make sure there was no excessive creosote build-up or defects in the flue.

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Old Wood Stove VS. Dwarf 5KW Wood Stove

The Andersons live in a commercially produced 500 square foot tiny house.  The building company pre-installed the wood stove that came with the tiny house.  After using it for a while, the Andersons decided to switch the stove out for a Dwarf 5KW Tiny Wood Stove with a Wood Storage Stand.  They had four reasons for swapping the stoves out.

Smaller Footprint

The original wood stove was a Morso 2B Standard. It measures 27" tall, 28" long, and 13" wide.  In the Anderson's tiny house, it stuck out into the living room further than they wanted. 

They worried that their child, who was learning to walk would accidentally get burned on the stove so they put a fence up around the stove.  That made the footprint of the stove, in their small space, even larger.  This is the main reason they chose the Dwarf 5KW Stove.

The Dwarf 5KW with the Wood Storage Stand is 31" tall, 14" wide, and 11" deep.  With the same safety clearances as the Morso 2B Standard, it opened up a lot more floor space while keeping their children safe.

Correct Amount of Heat for the Space

It is important to have the heat output of a woodstove fit the space that it heats.

The Morso 2B Standard that the Anderson family had in their tiny home is made for spaces up to 1200 square feet. It also doesn't have an option for an outside direct air input.

The result is that the stove was too powerful for their space and was constantly using up the air in their space to heat it.

The Dwarf 5KW Stove is designed for spaces up to 500 square feet, has the option for a direct air input, and can burn wood, coal, or compressed logs.  The output from the stove fits their space much better.

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Watching Flames

An important side benefit of a wood-burning stove is the ambiance that it adds to a space.  The dancing flames are entertaining to watch and add to the aesthetic of a small living space.

The Morso 2B Standard that the Anderson family had in their tiny home is long with a 5" piece of glass at the front.  Most of the fire burns toward the back of the firebox and with a small glass, there wasn't enough visual ambiance for the Anderson family.

The Dwarf 5KW has 8" glass that is right next to the flames.  The larger viewing area was exactly what the Anderson family wanted for their space.

The result is that the stove was too powerful for their space and was constantly using up the air in their space to heat it.

The Dwarf 5KW Stove is designed for spaces up to 500 square feet, has the option for a direct air input, and can burn wood, coal, or compressed logs.  The output from the stove fits their space much better.

Contained Wood Storage

When the Anderson family started using their Morso 2B Standard, they would stack wood under the stove's tall legs but the wood didn't always stay there.  A few bumps and the wood would be all over the place under the stove.  So when they decided to switch their stove out for a Dwarf 5KW, they also opted for the wood storage stand.

The wood storage stand elevates and supports the stove but has closed sides to contain firewood that is stored underneath the stove.  This feature allows the Anderson's to keep their tiny space a bit tidier.

Factors to Consider In Your Tiny Space

This stove swap story with the Anderson family is a great example of what to look for in a wood stove.

  1. Make sure the stove fits your tiny living space.
  2. Make sure the stove heat output is correctly matched to the size of your space.
  3. Consider the look of the stove.  You will be living with it every day.  Get something that you'll enjoy.
  4. Accessories are important.  In the case of the Andersons, the wood storage stand was a way to contain their firewood problem.  A wood storage stand is just the start of accessories that a wood stove can bring to your tiny space.

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