How a cheap stove fan boosted my log burner's heat output

A Tomersun stove fan on my log burner
The Tomersun stove fan atop my log burner (Image credit: Future / Amy Willis)

After installing a new log burner in my newly renovated kitchen-diner, I soon found a stove fan would push the heat into the room and help make the most of our investment.

Without one, much of heat produced by the log burning stove was rising and disappearing up the chimney flue — a total waste of logs, money and effort. It was becoming more of an expensive ornament than a heat source.

This is because the alcove in which it sits, while meeting regs, is a fairly tight, small space so there is minimal natural air flow around it to push the heat outward, unlike a far larger fireplace.

The solution was a stove fan and I got to work researching the best stove fans. I hadn't used one before so I went for a cheaper model that was well reviewed to play it safe on my finances — and I was very impressed.  The one I went for was this Tomersun four-blade stove fan on Amazon, which I bought in October 2022 for £32.89.

How stove fans work and why they're free to run

Stove fans run on a thermodynamic motor, meaning no batteries or power outlet is required. As such there are no running costs, you just place it on top of your wood burner and when it heats up, the fan starts turning and pushing heat into the room.

Thermodynamic motors work by converting heat to mechanical output. The heat differential between the base and the top of the fan powers the motor and turns the blades. There are two semi-conductors built in and the difference in temperatures between them creates a voltage to make the blades turn.

The air that is distributed by the fan is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The better the stove fan, the more CFM it generates.

It is worth bearing in mind that if your log burner does not generate much heat, you will need to buy a stove fan specifically geared towards working at lower heats. Also, the number of blades on your fan will change its efficiency. 

I purchased my stove fan thinking more blades (often seen in more expensive models of stove fans) would make it more powerful, but if I'd done my research beforehand I'd have read that it's actually the opposite as more blades create drag and put more pressure on the thermodynamic motor.

best stove fans guide

Stove fans are free to run as they don't need batteries or a power supply (Image credit: Amazon)

A quiet stove fan with lots of power

The aluminium Tomersun stove fan that I purchased comes in three blade, four blade and five blade options. While I later realised that fewer blades is usually more preferable with a smaller stove, I purchased the four blade option and found it worked fantastically well with my small log burning stove. It was incredibly easy and very quiet.

It is claimed that adding a stove fan can increase the efficiency of your log burning stove by up to 33%, and I felt a huge difference in the temperature of the room and comfort around the fireplace.

Unboxing the lightweight fan was easy, I simply took it out of the box and put it on top of the log burning stove, light it up and away it went. 

The key thing with it was positioning. It needs to sit at the back of your wood burner, rather than at the front. This is to ensure there is cool air coming up behind it, to help power the device. 

I also positioned my stove fan, which starts working at 55°C, so that it pushed heat from behind the flue into the room as well as the heat rising from the fire below. 

A log burner with a stove fan on top

My log burner in the alcove with the stove fan on top (Image credit: Future / Amy Willis)

One thing to bear in mind is that the stove fan itself is metal and as such gets very hot when in operation. Do not try to adjust the position when the blades are turning or you'll burn yourself, something we did make the mistake of doing.

The other important point to bear in mind when purchasing a stove fan is noise and this particular model I have found to be silent. I don't notice it at all, apart from the increase in heat coming from the log burner when I am burning wood.

All in all, for such a cheap purchase, I was very impressed by the difference it made.

Other cheap stove fans to consider

This particular stove fan is currently available for £22.69 on Amazon but there's also the PREUP stove fan for only £15.99, the Signstek stove fan for £21.99and the Luckyda stove fan.

If you have the space on top of your stove you could also try the double stove fan option (eight blades in total) which is an affordable £29.99.

Or for a bit of bling atop your log burner, why not try this VODA Nickel stove fan for £25.99

Whatever you choose, the cost benefit of buying the fan now probably outweighs the money you'd save waiting for the price to dip again, given the cost of heating our homes right now.

Amy Willis

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and Metro.co.uk before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.