There are many ways to heat your home, all of which have their own benefits. If you have a wood-burning fireplace or woodstove it’s natural to be drawn to it. Fireplaces provide warmth and comfort, and the glow of a wood-burning fire is very inviting. You can have the same warm glow of a wood-burning fire with greater efficiency when you install a fireplace insert.
What Is A Fireplace Insert?
An insert is installed inside your existing fireplace and typically made of cast iron or steel (two prominent heat conductors). These heat conductors extend into the room and can radiate heat in a larger and more efficient radius than an open flame. Most inserts include glass doors that allow you to enjoy the glow of a fire safely while not compromising the efficiency of the fire itself.
How Is A Fireplace Insert More Efficient?
Fireplace inserts are beneficial for a variety of reasons, but most importantly they will make your wood-burning appliance more efficient at heating your home. Older fireplaces do not have high efficiency ratings, and are often rated at only five to ten percent efficiency. Depending on the type of insert you invest in, you could increase your efficiency up to as much as 80%. Because of the open design of most fireplaces, a lot of heat can still escape up your chimney and out of your living space. However, because most fireplaces are insulated with glass doors, the existing warm air from your home is not able to escape through your fireplace.
Insulation also helps with stack effect drafting that causes cold air to push down your chimney and warm air to push up your chimney. In older homes, fireplaces are difficult to light and don’t burn as hot because of the stack effect. When you install an insert, you eliminate the down draft, which helps you build efficient fires that burn longer.
Another way fireplace inserts are more efficient than traditional wood-burning appliances is that they can save you money AND lower your carbon footprint. Fireplace inserts that are EPA-certified reduce wood-burning emissions. Additionally, because inserts are more efficient heaters, you will save money on your gas, oil and/or electric bill. A more efficient fire is one that saves you money and reduces your effect on the environment.
Creosote build-up is another factor that can inhibit the efficiency of your fireplace. Because you have a more efficient wood burning fireplace, less wood or fuel is required to heat the same room as with an open fireplace. The fire will also burn hotter and reduce the amount of smoke and creosote as most of the fuel will be burned off. Using less wood and a more efficient flame will both reduce the amount of creosote build-up in your chimney.
If you still aren’t convinced that fireplace inserts are a great choice for your home, here are some additional benefits:
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- More affordable than renovating an old fireplace
- Choose your type of fuel (natural gas, wood, pellet, coal, etc.)
Of course, with any new heating appliance a professional company must install your insert. The experts at Tri-County Hearth & Patio Center in Waldorf, Maryland can help you find the right products as well as make sure your chimney and existing fireplace meet all the requirements for proper fireplace insert installation. Trust the experts to recommend superior products to help you heat your home efficiently so you can enjoy the beautiful glow of a warm fire all winter long.