Having a roaring fire burning brightly in your living room’s fireplace is a cozy, comfortable way to spend a winter evening. However, if you have a traditional masonry fireplace, only five to 10% of the heat produced stays inside the home. That’s because traditional wood burning fireplaces aren’t very efficient. They lose far more heat up the flue than they retain. That’s why they’re not very good for use as a main heating tool. However, the use of wood burning fireplace inserts can prevent heat loss and keep much more of the generated heat inside your home.
Inserts generate hotter and longer-lasting flames, plus they retain a higher percentage of heat. This is an eco-friendly approach to heat generation, as you’re not using as much gas or electric heat to keep your home comfortable during the winter, plus you’re using wood — a natural renewable resource. Because you’re not using your traditional heat source quite as much, you’re saving money on those monthly energy bills. In addition to those savings, you’re reducing your maintenance costs, as inserts don’t require as much TLC as your traditional heating system. Over time, you may face a repair bill, but always check your system’s warranty coverage from the manufacturer before paying out of pocket.
The difference Between a Stove and an Insert
A fireplace insert can easily slide into your existing masonry fireplace. A wood stove can connect to a fireplace if your hearth is big enough, or it can be piped out via a stove pipe and chimney through the attic. In regards to the difference between quality of the big box store brands of inserts and stoves, you’re best off spending a little more money on the high-quality versions because they often come with lifetime warranties. Big box stores, by contrast, typically only offer a two-year warranty. The bottom line: spend more on the better brands to get more efficiency and use out of the product, as well as the lifetime warranty, so you’ll end up saving money in the long run.
Proper Sizing and Installation
When choosing the right wood burning insert, it’s important to select the right size to heat the space you need. If the insert is too large, you’ll be inclined to burn fires at a lower smolder; however, this wastes heat and can cause air pollution. Go too small, and you won’t get sufficient heat. Your chimney professional will be able to advise you on which size is best for you. Energy.gov recommends an insert rated at 60,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) for a 2,000-square-foot home, or a 42,000 BTU unit to heat a 1,300-square-foot space. When it comes to installation, it’s imperative to have a pro install your insert for proper operation and efficiency. A certified professional will take the time to thoroughly evaluate everything from the chimney itself to floor protection.
Call Chimney Pro today at 1-256-845-9814 for more advice and to schedule a wood burning fireplace insert installation today! Our rates are low to fit your budget, plus we bring a level of expertise to your chimney that’s unparalleled in the area.