Fireplaces are an excellent way to add warmth and ambiance to any home. However, many homeowners become disenchanted with their masonry fireplaces because of their lack of energy efficiency and large amounts of maintenance. For those who want the look and feel of a masonry fire without the added work, a fireplace insert may be a good alternative. Fireplace inserts are available in a wide variety of styles and fuel options, meaning there is an insert for every family.
Reasons to choose a fireplace insert
There are a number of reasons to opt to install a fireplace insert. Below are three of the most popular reasons to install a fireplace insert in your home.
1. Energy efficiency
Masonry fireplaces use open combustion when burning wood. In this combustion process, air from inside your home is pulled into the fire while cold outside air rushes down the chimney to replace it. Likewise, much of the heat of a masonry fire is lost up the chimney; some wood burning fireplaces have efficiency ratings as low as between 5 and 10 percent.
Fireplace inserts, however, are considerably more efficient. Depending on the fuel source, most fireplace inserts burn with as high as 85% efficiency. Because they use closed system combustion, very little heat is lost to the outside. When used as a supplemental heat source, the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association estimates that fireplace inserts can reduce utility bills by as much as 40%.
Modern fireplace inserts are also required to be certified by the EPA. To earn this certification, inserts must meet requirements for the amount of particulate air pollution they create. Because of their efficient closed combustion system, inserts create almost zero particulate emissions.
2. Reinforce damaged masonry
If your masonry fireplace is unusable because of damage that will cost thousands of dollars to repair, a fireplace insert might be a viable alternative. Fireplace inserts can be installed into an existing masonry firebox without having to live in a construction zone for weeks on end.
As long as there is no significant damage structure of the chimney, most inserts can be easily installed and use the existing flue. In some cases, however, installing a new chimney liner may be necessary to prevent smoke or backdraft issues caused by an incorrectly sized flue.
3. Multiple styles
Fireplace inserts are available in a variety of styles, from the traditional to the modern. This allows homeowners to choose a unit that meets the overall look and feel of their home. In addition, this level of choice lets families find a unit that is also budget friendly.
In addition to a variety of aesthetic choices, there are fireplace inserts available for nearly every fireplace fuel source. Inserts burning pellets, gas, and even wood can be installed based on your heating needs and personal preference.
If you want to upgrade from a masonry fireplace to the increased energy efficiency of a fireplace insert, stop by the showroom or contact The Cozy Flame today. Our expert staff will be happy to help you find an insert that meets all of your family’s needs and can be enjoyed for years to come!