While our love of a fireplace’s charm continues to endure, many do not love the work and maintenance of a wood-burning fireplace. When you take into account the low efficiency of this traditional fireplace, it seems even less appealing. Fortunately, the benefits of fireplace inserts include the beauty and charm of a wood-burning alternative but with higher efficiency and less upkeep.
How the Benefits of Fireplace Inserts Can Transform Your Home
The benefits of using a fireplace insert don’t stop at appearance and efficiency. We’ll discuss a range of advantages that include versatility and environmental friendliness to help you make the right decision for your home.
What Are Fireplace Inserts?
Before we talk about fireplace insert features, we’d like to provide a little info on what an insert is. Essentially, a fireplace insert is a fireproof box surrounded on three sides by steel or cast iron. The front side that faces your room is made of insulated glass. When installing, the insert is placed into an existing fireplace or a setup specifically designed for it.
This design creates multiple benefits that we’ll detail below.
1. Heating Efficiency
One of the primary benefits of fireplace inserts is their higher heating efficiency when compared to traditional, wood-burning options. This is because the design of the insert creates a closed combustion system in which outside air is heated, recirculated, and expelled through a duct.
A traditional fireplace’s design draws warm air from a room and expels most of it from a chimney. Some traditional fireplaces have been shown to convert only 5-20% of its fuel to usable heat while a fireplace insert can convert 60-80%.
Image from Fireplace & Chimney Authority
2. Energy Efficiency
One of the most efficient fireplace inserts is the wood-burning insert. This system creates a long-lasting and hot flame with a venting system superior to a traditional chimney. The insulation installed around the insert also prohibits cool air from escaping during the summer. This translates to yearlong heating and cooling savings for the homeowner.
In addition, a wood-burning fireplace insert can be an environmentally-friendly choice. It’s been shown to emit far fewer harmful byproducts in comparison to a traditional fireplace, enabling the Carbon Trust to declare it “carbon neutral” with very little negative effect on the environment.
3. Different Fuel Types
One of the most desirable benefits of fireplace inserts is that they offer models for several types of fuel, including:
Electric inserts: with no combustion occurring, these inserts can simply be plugged in to get the aesthetic of a simulated flame with no venting required.
Gas inserts: a gas fireplace insert cost can be initially high, requiring a vent and gas line to the house but necessitating little ongoing upkeep. Its ability to operate without electricity can also be an advantage in power outages.
Wood-burning inserts: using wood or manufactured logs, this option is not as efficient and requires the chimney maintenance of a traditional fireplace. However, they don’t require another energy source and provide a hot and long-lasting flame
4. Lower Cost of Maintenance
You may still be wondering, “are fireplaces inserts worth it?” or “how long do fireplace inserts last?” After all, why remodel your fireplace if you have one that operates with no issue? One of the best benefits of fireplace inserts is that they cost much less to maintain:
There’s often no chimney upkeep or cleaning
Repairs and replacements are often less expensive than the masonry work of a wood-burning fireplace.
Oftentimes, long-term warranties are available to cover costs
Image from Align Heating
5. Hi-Tech Features
Many of today’s fireplace insert options offer convenient features such as fans to better distribute heat and ease of control via a thermostat or remote.
6. Eye-Catching Designs
Another of the benefits of fireplace inserts is that they come in a variety of designs and materials to suit the style of your home. Elongated flames with end-to-end burners and crystal rocks can create a contemporary look while traditional setups with logs and manufactured stone are also available.
At The Fireplace Place of Atlanta, we take the time to discuss gas fireplace inserts with you in detail to make the best decision for your home. Call us today to set up an initial consultation.