While attractive and inviting, a standard wood-burning fireplace is an in-efficient way to heat your home if, in fact, that’s one of your objectives. Aesthetically, they’re terrific, but the value doesn’t go any further than that.
A fireplace insert, on the other hand, can transform your existing fireplace into an energy- and cost-saving heat source. The question is, which type of insert is right for you: wood-burning, pellet, or gas? Read on to learn the pros and cons of each.
Wood-Burning Insert – A wood-burning insert is installed directly into your existing fireplace and burns real wood. A stainless-steel liner is snaked down the chimney and a decorative flange is added to fill in the gaps between your existing hearth and the new box. Unlike a traditional fireplace, gas inserts radiate convection heat using a fan that’s located underneath the firebox. The downside is that you still have to chop (or buy) would, stack it, and load it. Plus, the insert may not work in your chimney since most prefabricated chimneys aren’t meant to withstand the temperatures that a wood insert emits.
Pellet Insert – A pellet insert slides into your existing fireplace and is sealed and surrounded by a decorative flange. It operated with pellets that you pour in, and vents through your existing masonry chimney. Some models have an on/off button, while others have the added convenience of a thermostat. Creating energy from waste products, they are among the cleanest burning heating appliances available. However, pellet stoves are powered by electricity. If the power goes out, so does your fire unless you have a battery back-up.
Gas Fireplace Insert – Whether you like the more traditional look of faux logs – or the sleek and modern look of glass chips – a gas fireplace insert is an easy and efficient way to warm up your space and add ambiance. Gas inserts require minimum maintenance and produce very little smoke, creosote, or pollution. However, unlike pellet stoves, they burn fossil fuel which adds to your carbon footprint, and they don’t have the aroma or crackle of burning wood.
While any such fireplace can supplement your heat supply, there’s no substitute for a well-running and maintained furnace or boiler. If your system is producing like it once did, or is costing you more to run than ever, contact Anthony’s Plumbing, Heating & Air today for solutions you can live with – comfortably and affordably.