Nothing beats the look and feel of a real wood burning fire; however, open hearth fireplaces are one of the most inefficient ways to heat your home. Most wood burning fires lose as much as 90% of their heat up the chimney and have efficiency ratings as low as 5-10%. This extremely low efficiency also means that it costs more to heat your home as more wood is needed to create less heat.
If you still want a wood burning fireplace – but hate losing heat and money up the chimney – then a wood burning insert might be right for you. Inserts are extremely efficient and give homeowners the benefits of a real wood burning fire – with the added bonus of better efficiency and lower fuel costs.
The efficiency of wood burning inserts
Inserts are some of the most efficient heating appliances on the market today. In fact, most wood burning inserts operate with as much as 85% efficiency – significantly higher than even the best open hearth fireplace. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association, inserts that are used as a supplemental heat source can help reduce energy bills by as much as 40%.
Inserts maintain this efficiency by using closed system combustion; instead of taking oxygen for the fire from the room, the air needed to keep the fire burning is drawn in from the outside. This unique venting system also eliminates the need for a traditional chimney. This offers homeowners greater flexibility when it comes to fireplace placement in their homes.
Modern inserts are also better for the environment than open hearth fireplaces. The closed system combustion process allows the wood to burn more completely, both reducing particulate emissions and saving you money in fuel costs. All wood burning fireplace inserts are certified by the EPA. In order to earn this certification, inserts must meet minimum standards for the amount of air pollution, including smoke and particulate emissions, they create.
Our favorite inserts
Two of our favorite inserts are the Regency I2400 and the Hampton HI300. Both of these inserts can be installed directly into your existing hearth; this can transform your drafty and inefficient fireplace into an easy to use and maintain home heater.
What about wood stoves?
There is a myth that wood burning stoves are old fashioned and too difficult to use. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Modern wood stoves are safe, efficient heating appliances that can create enough energy to heat some or all of your home.
In addition to being used as a primary heater in your home, stoves can also be used in place of a regular open fireplace. With glass specially formulated to stay clean it is easy to sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the fire burn. Likewise, with doors that easily and securely close you can spend less time worrying about flying sparks and embers and more time enjoying your fire; this safety feature is especially important in homes with small children or pets.
Come see us today!
If you’re interested in upgrading your inefficient open hearth fireplace to a safe, efficient wood burning insert or stove, come visit the showroom at The Cozy Flame today. Our highly trained and knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect wood burning heating appliance for your home and help keep you warm and cozy all winter long!