What Is a Stove Fan? (Explained for Beginners)

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One of the most helpful and overlooked types of fans is the stove fan.

What is a stove fan?

A stove fan is a small fan that attaches to the top of your stove and spreads warm air throughout a room. The heat created by the stove powers the fan. A stove fan is also called a stovetop fan, log burner fan, heat-powered fan, thermal stove fan, cocoon fan, and eco fan.

In this article, I will answer the most common questions people ask me about stove fans.

Types of Stove Fans

Stove fan and stack of logs—What is a Stove Fan?
Image by author via Canva—What is a Stove Fan?

There are a few different types of stove fans.

To truly understand stove fans, it’s best to go through each one. This will help you choose the best stove fan for your needs.

Common types of stove fans:

  • Low-temperature stove fan
  • Wood stove fan
  • Inset stove fan
  • Magnetic stove fan
  • DIY stove fan

What Is a Low-Temperature Stove Fan?

A low-temperature stove fan is powered by a stove at a lower temperature than usual. The blades will start spinning sooner than other stove fans.

This type of fan is best for households with young children or pets because it doesn’t get very hot.

The downside to this type of stove fan is that they don’t produce very much power (air movement).

What Is a Wood Stove Fan?

A wood stove fan is one of the most popular stove fans.

It’s powered by your wood-burning stove’s hot surface. The image at the top of this article features a wood-burning stove.

Wood-burning stoves are extremely popular because they are energy efficient.

They also produce a ton of heat.

The downside to wood stoves is that they aren’t suitable for everyone in all regions of the world. Wood stoves require a lot of attention and maintenance.

It’s not uncommon for people who use wood stoves to have stacks of firewood around their homes.

What Is an Inset Stove Fan?

An inset stove fan is designed to be mounted horizontally on an inset stove.

An inset stove is an electric stove or fireplace that’s designed to fit into a built-in kitchen or fit into a recessed counter or wall. The front face of the stove is usually flush with the wall or kitchen cabinetry.

In other words, inset stoves do not provide an accessible flat surface on top.

You attach the inset stove fan to the front of the stove with a mounting bracket and screws. It kind of hangs securely on the front of the glass stove or fireplace.

An inset stove fan works the same way as a wood stove fan. It uses your stove’s hot surface to power the fan blades.

What Is a Magnetic Stove Fan?

A magnetic stove fan is one with a magnetic thermometer.

It uses a tiny magnet that attaches to your stove’s surface. Some magnetic thermometers attach to the stove pipe.

These thermometers allow you to see how well your stove performs.

Most thermometers come color-coded so that you can tell how hot your stove is even from a distance.

The magnet can be placed on iron, steel, or cast-iron surfaces.

What Is a DIY Stove Fan?

A DIY stove fan is one that you build yourself. This is a cheaper alternative to buying a stove fan, especially if you like to tinker.

Plus, you can customize it to fit your specific needs.

In total, it will probably cost you less than $30.

All you need is a heat sink, aluminum box, fan blades, fan motor, and Peltier. A Peltier is a semiconductor device that can convert electrical energy into thermal energy.

Watch the video below for a complete tutorial on how to make a DIY stove fan:

YouTube video by Brian Ealy—What is a stove fan?

What Does a Stove Fan Do?

Stove fans disperse heat from your stove.

How does a stove fan work? As your stove heats up, hot air rises to the underside of the device.

There is a thermoelectric panel in the middle. It has an opening at the top where cold air flows. When the heat from the stove meets the cool air, the temperature difference creates electricity.

This electricity then powers the fan blades.

The fan blades blow hot air out into the room instead of leaving it to rise to the ceiling.

The best part? No batteries, wires, or other electricity is needed.

Two graphics showing how a wood stove fan works
Image by author via Canva—What is a stove fan?

What Does a Stove Fan Not Do?

A stove fan does not blow cold air or add heat to your room.

Its only job is to disperse the heat from your stove. It does this by propelling the hot air produced by your stove throughout the room.

In other words, a stove fan’s only purpose is to evenly distribute existing heat.

Where Do You Put a Stove Fan?

You can position your stove fan differently on different stoves.

The best place to position a heat-powered fan is usually on a flat surface close to the back or side of the stove. This allows the fan to collect cool air.

Do not place your stove fan near the front of the stove or in front of the flue pipe.

If you place the fan on a burner, at the front, or at the wrong angle, the fan will not perform as well and may burn out.

Will a Stove Fan Work on an Open Fire?

No, a stove fan generally does not work on an open fire. The bottom of the fan must touch the heat source to generate power.

You could probably rig something up to make it work, but I don’t recommend doing so.

Instead, I suggest you use a fan blower (also called a fireplace fan).

Will a Stove Fan Work on a Gas Stove?

Yes, a stove fan works great on gas stoves.

The main difference between a gas stove and a wood stove is that a gas stove has an automatic ignition.

If you mount the stove fan on top of a gas stove, the fan will heat up and expel hot air out into the room.

Do Stove Fans Really Work?

Stove fans do really work.

People sometimes view stove fans with skepticism, but these fans will redirect wasted hot air into useable hot air in your home, saving you money on your energy bill.

The benefits of using a stove fan are: they’re quiet, they don’t require batteries or cords, they spread heat, and they’re affordable.

Of course, don’t expect heat miracles with stove fans.

They will not blow super powerful, super-hot air like a $1,000 heater. However, they will gently circulate warm air through your room or space.

At What Temperature Do Stove Fans Work?

Some stove fans can operate from temperatures as low as 50 degrees Celcius (C). These are generally your low-temperature stove fans.

However, most stove fans need a temperature of at least 65 degrees Celcius (150 degrees Farenheit) to work properly.

If you’re looking to buy a stove fan, be sure to check the temperature range to make sure it fits your heat tolerance.

How Long Does It Take for a Stove Fan To Work?

Once your stove reaches 65 degrees Celcius, you’ll notice the stove fan start to spin.

You can expect a stove fan to start spinning fast after about 1 minute, and reach full speed within a couple of minutes.

Once your fan reaches max speed, it will maintain that speed until your stove temperature drops under 65 degrees.

Are Two Stove Fans Better Than One?

Stove fans come with different sets of blades and a different number of fan heads.

Stove fans generally feature a single fan head with:

  • 3 blades
  • 4 blades
  • 5 blades
  • 6 blades
  • 7 blades
  • 8 blades

Other stove fans come with two fan heads. Two fan heads (or two completely separate stove fans) are better than one. Having two stove fans allows for more dispersal of hot air in your home.

However, you can use one fan if desired.

Are Stove Fans Loud?

Stove fans are not loud. In fact, most people are surprised by how quiet they sound.

If you read online reviews, you’ll see the term “super quiet” come up a lot.

Sure, if you get really close to it, you may hear a bit of sound, but the minuscule noise it generates will not interfere with anything else you are doing.

How Long Should a Stove Fan Run?

Since a stove fan is powered by the heat from a stove, you can leave the fan on as long as want. As soon as you get warm enough or too hot, you can stop the stove fan.

Many people use stove fans for as long as they use the stove.

Therefore, approximately 2-4 hours is common.

How Long Do Stove Fans Last?

Most warranties extend for 24 months, or two years.

However, if you get a decent stove fan and treat it properly, I’ve known friends who have used one for much longer.

For example, one of my buddies used a stove fan in his ice-fishing house.

The fan really kept the place comfortable for long hours of fishing. He ended up replacing the stove fan after 10 full years.

What Is the Difference Between a Stove Fan and an Oven Fan?

Oven fans are used to circulate air within the oven cavity in order to evenly cook food.

Stove fans are used on top of a stove to blow the heat from the stove into your room.

Oven fans require electricity from your house, whereas stove fans do not.

What Are the Best Stove Fans?

I’ve used and repaired stove fans for over a decade, so here are my recommendations for the best stove fans.

CategoryBest Stove Fan
Super QuietCWLAKON Heat Powered Stove Fan
Best PerformanceEcofan AirMax, 812AMXBX
Budget-FriendlyTOMERSUN 3 Blades
What is a stove fan? (best stove fans)

Final Thoughts: What Is a Stove Fan?

Once you experience a stove fan, you may fall in love. Several of my friends swear by them. In my experience, they fall into the category of “well worth the money.”

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