Fireplaces / October 16, 2018 / Aitana Hsu.
You have a beautiful rock fireplace that you wouldn’t part with for anything. They don’t get any more romantic. The trouble is that it’s old and isn't energy efficient. Check out wood burning fireplace inserts, and you’ll have the best of both worlds.
So what exactly is an insert? An insert is a best compared as being a wood stove, but it is explicitly designed to fit inside an existing fireplace. Just like a wood stove must be EPA certified so must your fireplace insert. It means it must be highly efficient and clean burning.
Inserts a usually made from either cast iron or plate steel and then they have glass doors that let you see the flames. The insert can go ether protrude onto your hearth, or it can go directly into the fireplace opening.
Into the hearth is the most efficient method because you get additional heat from the top, bottom, and sides. Often the inserts will have blower which increases the efficiency. These blowers can be mounted along the side of the advertisement or on the front, and they can either be regulated by a thermostat or controlled manually.
In past years inserts were put into the fireplace with no chimney connection. Trouble is this sometimes allowed creosote to build up in the fireplace and present a severe fire hazard to the National Fire Protection Association now requires fireplace inserts to hook directly into the chimney. It reduces the risk.
New installs must connect into the flue liner which sends the gases and smoke up the chimney reducing the creosote build in the fireplace. Installs in new homes must also be able to draw the combustion air directly into the firebox from the exterior of the house. It eliminates a lot of health issues.
Inserts are extremely heavy usually weighing at least 400 pounds and often a great deal more. Now supplements have to be removed when the chimney a cleaned which can create a real problem. It’s best to install your insert with a full relining collar. Otherwise, make sure the chimney sweep you hire will remove the insert.
A good quality insert is going to cost somewhere between $1500 and $2000. If you add on blowers, catalytic combustors, or glass doors expect the cost to climb.
Perhaps you’ve decided wood isn’t the right choice for you. You will need to have this installed by a professional, and of course, you will need to have natural gas running to your home. But it’s an option to consider if you a done with wood.
Whether you choose natural gas or wood, an insert is a terrific option for that beautiful fireplace that is just not energy efficient. There is something about these old fireplaces that just can’t a replicated with our modern fireplaces.
Wood burning fireplace inserts are readily available online. There are many sites so be sure to shop around for the best pricing.