I am new to the site. My husband and I are looking at purchasing a new woodstove, and aren't sure how to distinguish between some of the competators. From what I have read BTU's can very from brand to brand and mean very little, whereas firebox size and burn time tend to give a better picture? Currently, we have a VERY VERY old Ashley woodstove. I believe it is 20 to 30 years old with a 4.5 cu. ft. firebox. It is going to be retired to the scrap metal pile because it is quite literally falling appart. One of the grates broke in half, and the metal plates are starting to warp away from the walls of the firebox and last year one of them just broke off. Also, it got to the point where we would fill the woodstove at 9 at night and set the alarm for 1:30 AM to refill it so it would go until morning. Also, the flue liked to start glowing red some nights, at which point I would close the draft all the way and wait for it to stop glowing before I went to bed. The musts for a new woodstove are 1. it has to have a rear exit flue. 2. It has to have an ash drawer. 3. We have to be able to pay for it (cash is a little tight being as we started our own business a year and a half ago). 4. It is going to be almost our only source of heat and so we need it to keep the house warm while we sleep without having to get up in the middle of the night to refill it. Unfortunately, the only spot for our woodstove is located on an exterior wall in between two windows and a door. NOT IDEAL, but it is what we have to work with. We live in an old farmhouse that has had insulation blown in the walls and new windows put on about 11 years ago. The house is located in southwest PA where it isn't uncommon for temperatures to drop into the -10 to -15 range, and it is located on a hill with no trees or windblocks nearby. It is a two story house (bedrooms upstairs) and it is roughly 1,400 sq. ft. As far as stoves go, we prefer non-cat stoves, simply because we are realistic about our personalities and the catalytic converter won't be attended to like it should. So we are wondering what things we do need to consider in a stove and some suggestions of good stoves with rear flue exits and ash drawers that will be able to keep us warm in our somewhat drafty house.