The best ways to choose fireplace insert: gas, pellet or wood

how to choose a natural gas fireplace insert

The issue with the typical fireplace is that it just does not bring a great heating punch to the typical home or room. It looks really lovely and it’s a great method to bring any family together after a long, tough day, but it will not a lot for keeping you warm on a consistent basis. That’s why setting up a fireplace insert that fits into your existing fireplace will help you to upgrade your house’s heating ability. Every fireplace insert has a blower, but you’ve got some decisions making as soon as you get to this point.

How to select gas, wood or pellet fireplace insert

A vital factor to consider before we start: a large majority of fireplace inserts are designed to deal with traditional fireplace masonry. You will need to look for a specific insert for produced fireplaces, especially ones that have actually been developed making use of sheet metal. Some made fireplaces aren’t even rated to accept an insert either.

Also read this: Fireplace Inserts: Reviews and Rating

What Kind of Fireplace Insert Should You Get?

There are three fundamental kinds of fireplace inserts that are offered on the marketplace today: wood, pellet, or gas. The most popular inserts are the traditional wood kind since it helps to reproduce the environment of the fireplace while improving its heating performance. Pellets are making a strong case since they’re typically less costly to install and operate, while gas inserts can work with an existing heating unit to make it more trustworthy.

When you should utilize a wood fireplace insert: If you have a great deal of constant access to wood and require a consistent level of heat in your house, then this probably the type of insert to use. A number of these inserts are particularly developed to be the primary heating source of the home, so you can save a lot of cash on your utility bills with this kind of insert installed. The genuine heat that a wood insert produces just can not be replicated by the other 2 insert types!

how to choose a wood burning fireplace insert

The size of the chamber is the most crucial factor to consider to make if you’re considering making this investment. A lot of inserts will take standard 16 inch logs, however if you have specific needs that have to be fulfilled, you’ll wish to make certain that your insert can satisfy those needs. Many of them today have a standardized arch door and you can then purchase extra accessories from there.

When you should utilize a pellet insert: If you have electricity access close to your fireplace, then a pellet insert might be a better choice for you. Pellets are commonly cheaper in the long-lasting and the venting that is required for this heating procedure is much less. You can even route the venting through the side wall instead of up the chimney in some instances, saving you a lot on the setup cost of this fireplace insert.

The one concern that individuals have with a pellet insert is that they need a lot of daily maintenance. You’ve got to fill the pellet reservoir a minimum of once each day and regularly clear out the ash deposits so they do not build up and obstruct the hot air from leaving the firebox. You can get automatic feeders to minimize this maintenance in the short-term, some that can even be managed by remote, but you’ll have maintenance concerns to take a look at in the coming years due to the fact that more internal parts always corresponds to more internal upkeep.

When you need to utilize a gas insert: Many times the function of a fireplace insert is to conserve money, which you won’t always finish with the gas variation of this item. You will, however, experience gains in both heat and efficiency with this insert choice. You can vent the exhaust straight, there are vent-free alternatives offered, and there are aesthetic alternatives like incorrect logs that will develop the visual illusion of a conventional fire.

Many times the level of the heat can be controlled by remote with this option and you’ll get rapid modifications. Vent-free designs will likewise be open to the house due to the fact that it will make use of the air from the room as a flammable. They can be immediately switched on and they can be quickly managed with a thermostat as well. It’s a lot more practical since there’s no wood or pellets to transport, however the disadvantage is the cost of the gas itself.

how to choose pellet fireplace insert

There are likewise specialty fireplace inserts that will work on electrical energy and some have options that allow them to take numerous kinds of fuel. For a vast bulk of house owners, these 2 unique options will hardly ever help to make a heating option more effective. Here is when you may want to consider one of these two options:

  • you create your very own electrical energy through solar or a generator and live off of the power grid,.
  • you may have access to one kind of fuel through part of the year, but only have access to a 2nd type of fuel through the other part of the year, or
  • you do not want to have a gas line installed and you have no access to wood or pellet items.

In these unusual circumstances, your advantages will replicate the advantages of the very best fireplace inserts that are readily available today.

Will Your Existing Fireplace Accept an Insert?

It holds true that the majority of today’s fireplace inserts are specifically developed to work with a large bulk of fireplaces … however a large majority isn’t really 100 % inclusion. Prior to case, you’re going to have to ration your fireplace making sure that it has the ability to effectively work. The exact size of the opening of your fireplace with aid you figure out just how much flashing or surround you might require in order to get the insert correctly installed. This will cover up the remainder of the opening, so it is also vital to discover a product that will match you wanted aesthetics.

A lot of inserts can be found in three basic sizes: little, medium, and large. You’ll need to determine your back width, the front width, and the depth from the front to the back in order to figure out which size works very well with your fireplace. The one measurement that numerous forget to make is the range from the firebox to the mantel. Without this measurement, you might wind up with an insert that won’t work as efficiently, if it works as all.

After distributing your fireplace, you’ll have the ability to take a look at the different purchasing considerations there are readily available today with a majority of manufacturers. These choices will assist you match the look of your brand-new insert with the interior decoration you presently have.

  • Finish. There are a vast array of surfaces offered on all of today’s best fireplace inserts. From metallic finishes to the normal black steel you’ll discover on modern-day designs, you’ll be able to discover something that will blend right in for you.
  • Viewing area. In some cases the amount of flame that can be seen is very important for a quality ambience within a home. The inserts with the very best viewing areas are usually built with a glass front and have less framing as well.
  • Bay windows. Many of today’s fireplace inserts have a flat front, however you can likewise invest in a bay window kind of front so that it stands out from the fireplace some.
  • Logs. If you’re using a gas and even an electrical fireplace insert, then you may have the choice for simulated logs to be set up also. A number of them are developed to provide a sense of a real fire and there are lots of log designs from which to choose.

Venting Installation for fireplace inserts

It is typically the type of venting that can be set up in a fireplace that dictates the kind of insert that is utilized. Lots of fireplaces are set up centrally in a home OR are set up along an exterior wall. Either way, the chimney is frequently positioned at or near the peak height of the house. If you have a main fireplace, then wood stoves are typically the best choice for you because you’ll have to set up flex pipeline venting up the chimney no matter what. You may also need to set up an insulation blanket and you might have to insulate your chimney with a liner also.

Pros and Cons of Wood, Gas and Electric Fireplaces

The advantage of a pellet fireplace insert is that the exhaust venting can be much smaller. In some circumstances, it might be up to 50 % the size of a wood insert and that works well with some of today’s smaller chimneys. Except for the size difference, the installation process is comparable to the conventional wood setup.

Gas inserts only have to be vented with a direct model and these vent inserts add the chimney. You’ll have one for fresh air being available in and another for exhaust that will have to be installed.

All of these inserts normally need a collar plate and cap on the chimney in addition to the liners. There might likewise have to be a connector adaptor depending on your unique setup. If you have a lot of chimney space, then the best option is likely a wood insert. Smaller sized spaces are usually better served with pellet inserts or gas.

If you’re making use of an electrical fireplace insert, you won’t require any venting whatsoever. That’s since no genuine flame is created! This is commonly the most convenient setup and the most efficient way to choose most homes, especially when no chimney or venting solution is readily available. That’s because you are generally making use of a space heater to heat up the home.

Features To Consider

Fireplace inserts of all varieties include a number of different features that you might discover practical for your special installation. Here is a look at the most popular features you’ll find with a bulk of today’s producers.

  • Control systems. Unless you desire a wood burning fireplace insert, you’ll have choices for a minimum of restricted control of the heat being produced. It might be a switch that gets flipped, a remote control, or some other approach. Pellet stoves may permit you to remotely feed the pellets into the firebox.
  • Circulation systems. Many fireplace inserts have some sort of flow system that helps to spread out the heat around that’s been created. The larger the circulation system you set up, the better the heat can be dispersed around your house.
  • Adjustable flame size. Some inserts allow users to control the size of the flame that is in the fireplace, permitting visual presence and heating needs to be met quickly and successfully.
  • Thermostat control. A few of the very best fireplace inserts likewise utilize a connection to a thermostat control for simple usage. This allows users to set the preferred temperature variety and have confidence that their new insert will turn on when your home gets a little too cold.

The primary function to think about, however, is the vent-free design that some particular fireplace inserts have. These vent-free options do not need to be put inside of a fireplace if you prefer and don’t need a chimney for venting. This is the perfect solution for a house that has a chimney that does not work for some reason. You will not lose heat with a vent-free option like you do something with a direct vent either, which is why it should be strongly considered.

Cost and energy saving

Cost: $3,000-$4,000, consisting of setup and a chimney liner.

How Much Energy Do Inserts Save?

You’ll cut your other heating expenses by 10 % -40 % with an insert.

Since of the enclosed design, an insert enhances the efficiency of burning wood, assisting you remove the most heat for the least expense.

A lot of wood-burning inserts likewise include a fan to distribute the warm air around the firebox back into the space for even more performance.

Improvements in the designs of wood-burning fireplace inserts over the past few years indicate virtually all new units now fulfill the standards for fuel effectiveness set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of 60 % -80 %.

What Fireplace Insert Is Right For You?

With a number of quality designs on the market today, it is up to you to determine exactly what the best fireplace insert can do. Base you choice first on your fuel source and after that on the size requirements that you have for your new insert. If you require a dual fuel alternative and even an electrical fireplace insert, then identify that prior to shopping.

From there, just choose the best fireplace insert that matches quality with cost. The best method to do that is to go through our extensive reviews that we have actually published to help you figure out which item is right for you. That way you can make an empowered choice about how to effectively heat your house!

Updated: November 8, 2015 — 4:21 am
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