Buy Wood Burning Fireplace Insert __FULL__
Considering a wood burning fireplace insert, but not sure where to start? Here's what you need to know about wood burning fireplace inserts, often also called a wood stove insert, wood burning stove insert, or wood burning insert. In this article, we'll go over different wood fireplace insert model options, what you need for installation, brand recommendations, and care and maintenance tips. But first, let's clear up a common confusion with fireplaces and fireplace inserts.
buy wood burning fireplace insert
Oh, the joys of terminology. The biggest area of confusion when it comes to fireplaces versus fireplace inserts comes down to the difference between how the average person describes the different types of fireplaces and the technical terms used to categorize them. If you spend any amount of time probing the web for fireplace inserts, you may run across a number of terms, including wood stove insert, wood fireplace insert, or wood burning insert. Yet, all of these terms reference the same type of appliance. If you prefer to use wood logs for fuel, the information you'll want to know boils down to the differences between a wood burning fireplace and a wood burning fireplace insert.
Technically speaking, a wood burning fireplace is a structural opening in a wall that is designed to burn wood logs. It can be built using stone, brick, or any other veneer. Or, it can be a factory-built firebox constructed from metal and installed into a framed opening in the wall or a framed enclosure.
People often confuse the prefabricated fireplace boxes with fireplace inserts. After all, you insert the box into the opening in your wall. But, in reality, these factory-built boxes are just plain fireplaces.
Wood fireplace inserts, often called a wood stove insert, are essentially legless stoves that are inserted into an existing fireplace. These are manufactured structures designed to transform low-efficiency, open-faced fireplaces into highly-efficient heating sources. Unlike factory-built fireplaces, a wood stove insert is not designed to be installed into a framed wall on its own.
A wood burning fireplace insert must be used in a properly rated manufactured fireplace or masonry fireplace. An outer frame called a surround helps cover the gap between the edges of the insert and the fireplace. Depending on the installation, a flexible liner may be needed to resize the larger flue of the fireplace chimney. This is because the greater efficiency of the fireplace insert makes for lower flue gas temperatures; thus, a smaller flue is needed for the insert to operate correctly.
So, now you know the difference. A wood burning fireplace is simply a masonry or prefabricated firebox that serves as a combustion chamber for wood. But, a wood fireplace insert is really more of a pedestal-free stove designed to fit inside an existing fireplace, which explains why so many people call them a wood stove insert.
The short answer is better heating efficiency and potentially lower costs on your energy bill. Although the open look of a traditional fireplace is appealing, you pay a steep price in heat loss. A wood stove insert features a compact, closed combustion chamber with blower fans that generate more radiant, even-flowing heat while using less fuel and less room air.
An open-faced wood burning fireplace pulls air from the room into the firebox and pushes excess air up the chimney while operating. This means a significant amount of the heat produced by the burning logs is whisked away before it ever heats your room.
In contrast, fireplace inserts typically use only 5 to 15 percent of the air volume of an open fireplace. Some models even offer a combustion air kit that allows air to be pulled into the unit from the outdoors. This makes them highly efficient. They can operate for several hours on a single load of firewood. No more blazing through stacks of firewood as you try to keep the room warm!
Another feature that contributes to heat efficiency is the smaller firebox. Although fireplace inserts have a viewing window to see some of that cozy fire, they need a compact firebox to maintain a hot, efficient fire. Some models are capable of exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the core of the fire. This translates to a much hotter appliance that radiates lots of warmth without devouring wood and wasting heat up the chimney.
Yet, other aspects that contribute to the heating efficiency of wood fireplace inserts are blowers or fans. These components come standard with fireplace inserts. Yes, a blower requires a little extra forethought to provide electrical power to the unit. But, the fan circulates the heat from the fire throughout your room for a steady, even heat.
In the case of wood burning fireplace inserts, more efficient heat means cleaner heat. As with wood stoves, a wood burning stove insert is subject to EPA efficiency standards. The current EPA regulations, phase III, require that all new stoves produce less than 4.5 grams of smoke pollution per hour. The new regulations, phase IV, scheduled for May 2020 will require less than 2.5 grams per hour.
These standards are able to be met with a wood stove insert through the use of several technologies. Carefully placed air tubes bathe the fire in oxygen, creating a hot and steady flame. The design of the firebox also ensures that hot gases have greater residence time before being pulled away to the chimney or chimney liner.
If you are sensitive to smoke or concerned about air pollution, a wood burning fireplace insert is an excellent alternative. Click here for more information about EPA emissions standards for wood stoves and wood stove inserts.
This is the most common type of wood burning fireplace insert. Instead of a catalyst, these models feature ceramic baffles, firebricks, or vermiculite board. These components seal off most of the top of the burn chamber, leaving only a small space for smoke particles to escape to the vent system. Small air injection tubes provide oxygen to the fire. They also push smoke particles back into the fire to be burned again, minimizing smoke pollution.
While more common in wood stoves, there are still several models of the catalytic wood fireplace insert on the market. Instead of baffles, a catalytic fireplace insert uses a catalytic combustor to reignite the smoke particles. Catalysts are often shaped like a honeycomb and coated with a metal. They react with the smoke particles, reigniting them to produce water vapor and heat. Reigniting the smoke particles in this way results in less smoke overall. It also lowers the ignition temperature, meaning that it takes less heat to start and maintain the fire.
For more information on catalytic and non-catalytic technology, you can reference our article on wood burning stoves. Wood burning fireplace inserts with catalytic and non-catalytic features function just like wood stoves.
Now that you know the basics of a wood burning fireplace insert and its operation and design, it's time to discuss how to make the correct selection for your fireplace. Fireplace inserts are rated by BTU output and efficiency, with many manufacturers specifying the optimal amount of space you can expect to heat.
Before settling on a model, it's important to take measurements of the existing fireplace the insert will be installed into. Using a tape measure, document the front width and height of your fireplace opening. Next, measure the depth and the back width of the opening. Lastly, check to see if the back of your fireplace slopes forward. If so, note the minimum depth at the top of the fireplace.
With these numbers in hand, you will be able to seek out a fireplace insert to meet your needs. Remember, bigger is not always better. Choose a wood stove insert that is designed to heat only the area you require. Selecting an insert that is too large or too small can leave you dissatisfied with your purchase.
You will soon discover that while most fireplace openings are tapered, fireplace inserts are not. The width is usually the same or nearly the same from front to back. Most models of wood burning fireplace inserts will also offer at least two sizes of surrounds to cover the space between the edges of the fireplace insert and the fireplace opening. Be sure to not only select a wood stove insert that will fit into your opening but also purchase a surround that will completely cover the opening of the fireplace.
Whether you are installing a wood fireplace insert into a masonry or prefabricated fireplace, it is also important to take venting into mind. Be certain that there is adequate space to install a liner between the flue collar of the fireplace insert and the damper area of the fireplace itself. Some masonry fireplaces will have thicker lintel areas than others or a narrow smoke chamber. It may be necessary to modify the fireplace structurally in some cases to make room for the venting. If questions arise during the selection process, our helpful NFI certified technicians can assist in making a selection.
After selecting a wood burning fireplace insert rated for use with your existing fireplace, consider the installation process. For fireplace inserts, installation occurs in four phases: planning, prep work, installation, and inspection. While the process differs slightly when installing a fireplace insert into a masonry fireplace versus a manufactured fireplace, it's essential to comply with local codes and regulations.
Since masonry fireplaces are constructed on-site, there is not a specific agency that regulates them. That means there are no specific rules that govern the use of a fireplace insert in a masonry fireplace.
Instead, you should check with your local authorities to see if any regulations apply. If so, you'll want to know the modifications that must be made when installing a fireplace insert. You could locate information from your town code office or county fire department. In some cases, you must use a dedicated combustion air kit. In others, you must completely remove the damper from the fireplace. 041b061a72