* Look for labels on the appliance. They will certify that the stove meets Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards and also list the efficiency range and heat output in BTUs.
* Look for standard features including self-cleaning glass, hidden hinges and reversible flues, as well as optional accessories such as fans, gold-plated accents and heat shields for walls.
* Use a certified installer.
* Read the appliance’s operating manual before building the first fire in the stove.
* Your home's air will become very dry when heated with a wood stove. Combat this with a humidifier or by placing a kettle of water on the stove.
* Ordinances regulating wood stove use vary by city and sometimes within cities. Check the back of the stove for the EPA certification label to see if you comply with local ordinances.
* Hire a certified chimney sweep for regular cleanings. Dirty chimneys can cause catastrophic chimney fires.