How to Make a Barrel Stove More Efficient : Beginners’ Guide

A barrel stove is an excellent way to heat up a room. These furnaces are often used in homes that use oil or gas for heating and cooking, but they can also be found on some campgrounds.

To make a barrel stove more efficient, you need to ensure that the barrel stove is large enough for your needs. The barrel stove has air vents so oxygen can get in and reach the fire, it's located a reasonable distance from any flammable materials, and it has insulation around the barrel.

In this article, you will learn about how to make a barrel stove more efficient. So, let's get started.

Methods to Make a Barrel Stove More Efficient

Methods to Make a Second Barrel Stove More Efficient

Here are several different methods that you can use to make a barrel stove more efficient.

Putting the Pieces Together

This barrel stove can be more efficient if you put together different pieces of the barrel to form a barrel that is closed on three sides. In this barrel stove, air will flow freely through the barrel, and there will be plenty of oxygen for the fire burning inside.

The barrel is closed on three sides also means that it will be a more efficient barrel because you can capture a lot more heat from the fire. This barrel stove is also shaped so that the barrel is short, wide, and deep. This makes it very versatile with most fires because they usually require some depth in order to burn properly.

Using Double Barrel

One way to make a barrel stove more efficient is to use a double barrel or a second barrel. This is done by taking two barrels and stacking one on top of the other with one side open for airflow. The top barrel should have its opening facing up, while the bottom barrel should meet down.

You can place this double barrel stove against a wall or fence to maximise stability and heat efficiency. If you need to, you also have the option of placing large rocks around the outside of the heaters for added protection from blowing wind.

Adding Insulation to Barrel Stove

To make your barrel stove even more efficient, you can add insulation around the barrel. This way, it will trap in the heat better and let out less of it along the way. There are several different ways that you can insulate your barrel for more efficiency.

One option is using fireproof refractory cement. You want to coat the outside of your barrel with this material so that no heat or flames escape through any cracks between pieces or holes in the barrel itself.

Once this cement is dry, all you have to do is place some insulation around the barrel so that no heat escapes from there either. A suitable material for this would be fibreglass because it's lightweight and easy to cut into shape.

Install a Grate for the Fire

Install a Grate for the Fire

The barrel stove can be more capable if you install a grate for the fire. This will allow the wood to burn better and transfer more heat into the furnace, making it more effective.

Both of these types of fires need some depth to burn appropriately and function well. They usually require some kind of support, and a grate can take care of that. As long as there is proper airflow above or below, this grate will work wonders for the furnace itself.

Add Thermal Mass to the Stove

To make the stove more effective, you can add thermal mass to the stove, which will help absorb some of the heat. One way is to use stones or bricks on the stove. This way, it helps with radiation and thermal insulation.

If you want to make your barrel stove more effective, it's a good idea to add firebricks to the base of it. This will help with insulation because the fire bricks can absorb some heat that escapes from the stove into the room.

Firebricks are also great for safety because they do not conduct heat as much as other materials. You can stack these bricks on top of one another inside your stove and place your combustible material such as wood or coal. This way, you can enjoy many hours of warmth and save energy in the process.

Another option is to use a reflective surface such as tin or aluminium foil. You can add this by putting it on any surfaces that are not already covered by combustion material such as wood, coal, or oil.

The tin or aluminium will reflect back the heat from the fire and help keep it in so that it doesn't go out into your room and escape into other parts of your home.

Legs in Masonry

Legs in Masonry

For a more effective barrel stove, you can add legs to the bottom of it. This is done by lining up three lengths of wood to form the shape of a triangle and placing this at the base of your barrel stove.

You then attach these pieces together with either nail or metal brackets if they are too thin. The sides of these legs should be wedging out in front so that they can stand on their own.

This type of leg has the added benefit of keeping your stove stable when it's in use because it will not rock back and forth like when it's on the ground with no support.

Additional Tips

Steel Barrels Should be Used

Steel barrels are one of the best options when it comes to making your barrel stove more capable. You can buy these barrels from hardware stores, heating suppliers, or internet sites.

The steel will conduct heat better than most materials, so it will save energy in the process of heating. This type of barrel stove is also easy enough to assemble by following some instructions. This way you only have to spend a little time with them, and you'll be able to save money on fuel for years to come.

Adapt the Door

This can be done by moving the hinges on the door. If you move them to the top of the door, this will make it swing open and closed like a storm door. It'll also save on wasted areas inside your barrel stove because it won't need any room for a latch and doorknob.

See if there's a way to position your barrel stove so that you can save on some area. You want to start by finding a place that doesn't have as much heat emanating from it, such as near a window or somewhere else where there is not so much heat coming from radiators or windows. This will allow for more airflow throughout the entire stove and keep things working better overall.


1. Can a Barrel Stove Heat a Lot of Space?

The Big Space Inside

Answer: While barrel heaters are smaller than your typical wood stove, they still provide enough heat to keep you warm when it's cold outside. There are just a few things to take into consideration when looking for the perfect barrel stove for space heating or other uses.

The first thing that you'll want to think about is the type of fuel that will be used in this barrel stove. Once you've decided which fuel is suitable for your needs, purchase an appropriately sized barrel stove regarding the amount of heat needed in your area.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if your barrel stove isn't insulated well, you may not have enough heat all the time. Also, keep in mind that steel barrels are sturdier than most other barrel types, so they might be a better option if you've got kids or pets running around your home.

2. How Much Does a Barrel Stove Cost?

Answer: The cost of barrel furnaces varies depending on how big they are and what material they're made out of. Steel barrels tend to be more expensive than ones made from stainless steel, but stainless steel will last longer over time.

The wood used for a barrel stove may also impact its price as well as factors such as delivery charges where necessary.

3. How Well do Barrel Stoves Work?

Answer: Barrel heaters are great ways to heat a cold area. They work by circulating heated air, which keeps the entire room warm in cold temperatures.

A barrel stove works beautifully in most rooms of your home and boat spaces. Some models can also be attached directly to wood-burning fireplaces instead of traditional fireplace inserts to provide supplemental heat.

Barrel furnaces come with vents that allow this heated air to circulate, preventing drafts through cracks or gaps in doors and petrified areas on walls near the floor where the stove is located.

If you have pets or children, you must place your barrel stove on an elevated surface so they don't touch any hot parts while running around the room, risk getting hurt by intense heat radiating from the stove, or get burned by touching the wood interior.

When buying a barrel stove, you must get an appropriately sized one so that it doesn't get too warm in your area and continue to circulate heat. If there's not enough room for this type of circulation, this might cause some issues with your heating system and hinder how well you're able to keep your home warm in cold weather.

4. How Long does a Barrel Stove Last?

Answer: Barrel stoves can last for decades if they're correctly cared for and maintained over time. This is just another way that wood-burning furnaces offer great energy efficiency benefits when used consistently over the years.

You should clean out your barrel stove at least once every year, if not more. You can save some time and energy by using an air compressor to blow out any debris inward before starting it up again.

If you notice that the barrel stove is taking too long to burn through the night, you might need to open up its doors or clean out the barrel with a small brush, so that warm air isn't trapped inside. Even ventilation holes in the front of your barrel stove can be blocked by an excessive ash build-up, which is why you'll want to check these areas now and then as well.

5. How many BTU does a barrel stove produce?

Answer: A barrel stove can come with anywhere from 150,000 to 250,000 BTU.

This is due to the material used in each type of barrel as well as their size and output capabilities.

The heat produced by your barrel stove will depend on the type of wood that you're burning. You'll need to burn softwood in small amounts, as this material produces a lot of heat because it's highly combustible and burns quickly.

You can also use hardwoods for longer periods of time throughout the day if necessary. Keep in mind that burning through too much kindling or lumber might damage your barrel stove, so be sure to keep an eye on how much wood you're feeding the fire at any given time.

6. How do double barrel wood stoves work?

How Do Double Barrel Wood Stoves Work

Answer: Double barrel wood furnaces are usually found in colder climates, which is why they are the best appliances to use in these areas. They are capable of trapping heat throughout your home or boat, too.

A double barrel wood stove uses two containers. The air is heated up when passing through these tubes. It enters the bottom shaft of each side in a controllable fashion up by the perforated plate, so it is cooled down to ambient temperature before being evacuated at the top surface above where you sit on a chair's armrest.

One has several strong steel pipes welded to them that have access holes for loading firewood into one side where it gets burned.

The other side is used to isolate the hot wood from getting burned until it's completely dried out.

Last Thoughts

I hope this article helped you understand a little more about making a barrel stove more efficient. It's always a good idea to take some time to clean your barrel stove at least once a year, too.

If you're using the furnace for an extended period of time, make sure that it doesn't get too hot by allowing for an adequate amount of place for the heated air.

It might also help to use multiple barrels on your wood stove so that it can keep heating up your home longer and help save energy. The more efficient the design of the barrel stove, the better.