A wood stove fan can greatly increase the efficiency of your wood stove by helping to circulate the radiant heat that it generates. In deciding what type will provide the best performance in your situation, consider both electrically-powered fans and blowers, as well as passive devices that operate on the heat generated by the stove. A stovepipe heat reclaimer attaches to the pipe above the stove scavenging and circulating heat that would otherwise go up the chimney. Wood stove fan options should not be confused with chimney fans designed to improve a wood burning stove's draft and efficiency.
There are a wide variety of electric wood stove fans available. They range from inexpensive models intended to simply push the radiant heat away from the stove to more sophisticated designs that offer more control over the temperature, volume of heated air, and, in some cases, the direction in which the heated air is moved. Some models incorporate heat sensors that control fan speed via a rheostat that supplies more power as the fire cools down. Aftermarket devices into which you plug your wood stove fan are also available that control fan speed and noise. If you need to move heat from one room to another, there are specialized fans that mount in doorways or in walls to improve heat circulation.
Stovepipe heat reclaimers also help to circulate heated air while improving the efficiency of your stove by allowing less-heated air to escape to the outdoors via the flue. Reclaimers contain one or more heat exchangers that extract the heat from flue gases moving up the chimney. A fan that is usually thermostatically controlled then exhausts the heated air out into the room. Various models are available to fit different stove pipe sizes. They typically cost significantly more than simple fans and blowers, usually require some expertise in retrofitting them to your stove, and also require a conveniently located electrical outlet.
A simple passive wood stove fan that is activated by heat rising from the stove's surface may not move as large a volume of heated air as a powered fan, but offers the advantage of silent operation and no need for a nearby electrical outlet. Many of these passive stovetop fans are designed to enhance your decor with attractive designs and materials. More recent non-powered wood stove fan models exploit a phenomenon known as the Peltier effect. As the stove heats up, the fan rotates faster, and then slows down as it cools.