Adding wood burning fireplace inserts to your home's wood burning fireplace is a great way to gain efficiency with it. These inserts tuck neatly inside and are often easily overlooked. Yet, the heat produced exceeds that of a standard fireplace. Those looking to reduce their heating bills will want to consider the benefits of using these inserts.
How They Work
The inserts work very simply. They are added to the existing fireplace in your home. They are not stand alone units, so you will need a working fireplace, including a chimney and flue to operate these effectively. They can be used in factory built fireplace units as well as masonry built fireplaces. Most inserts fit into any size fireplace, but this should have confirmation if you have a smaller opening for the fireplace.
By adding these inserts to the home, the standard wood burning fireplace becomes more efficient. Also, many people purchase them because they add a better look to the fireplace. Most have a modern look to them.
Many Will Benefit
The use of a wood burning insert can benefit most people that have a fireplace and use it. This is because the installation of the insert will enable the fireplace to push more of the heat produced out, into the home rather than have it lost up the chimney. Most standard fireplaces without an insert experience about a ten percent efficiency rating. This is very low and translates into a lot of lost opportunity to heat the home. Another reason why most fireplaces will benefit from the added insert is because of how the standard fireplace burns. These fireplaces draw in the heat from the surrounding room into the fire. This allows the fire to burn hotter and faster. Yet, this is not necessarily a good thing since the room is losing heat. Additionally, the fire burns far faster than it should. This too wastes precious energy. An insert stops this process from happening.
Choosing the Right Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts
When selecting wood burning inserts, there are several things to take into consideration. There are several types of fireplace inserts to select from, and each has its benefits. The five main types include the following:
- Direct Vent Inserts
- B Vent Inserts
- Vent Free Inserts
- Pellet Burning Inserts
- Wood Burning Inserts (which should be EPA certified prior to purchase and use)
From these, take into consideration first the type of fuel you wish to use and its availability. Not all areas offer the same type of fuel availability. Other systems will require a great deal of installation and change to the home's structure if you selected them. Rather, make the right choice based on if fuel is available and your budget.
- Natural Gas and Propane Gas: Those who wish to use natural gas or propane gas to fuel the fireplace will likely want to select a B Vent insert. In addition, these types will work very well with a direct vent or vent free insert, assuming they have a design for this fuel use.
- Pellet Inserts: Many people are looking for pellet options since this is one of the best ways to heat a home efficiently. Having a regular source of affordable pellets is necessary, however.
- Wood Burning Inserts: As their name implies, wood burning inserts are also quite affordable if you have a steady supply of wood for burning. These must be EPA certified systems to ensure they protect the home. Be sure to use aged wood (wood that's been cut and sat for at least a full year to dry).
Getting Inserts or Not
Prior to making the investment into wood burning fireplace inserts, it is very important to ensure they can benefit you. For most people, the benefit of increased efficiency is a plus, since this allows the fireplace to heat the home more regularly. Additionally, these inserts can help to improve air quality for those homeowners already using an insert. If you are unsure if these inserts are a valuable option for you, speak with a local chimney expert who can examine and give recommendations as to which type of insert to use, if any.