About Fireplace Inserts
For people interested in enhancing the look and feel of an existing wood burning fireplace, fireplace inserts are a great option. Using the existing fireplace and mantle you have, you can increase the efficiency of a fireplace by adding a fireplace insert. The installation of a fireplace insert can turn an occasional source of warmth into a convenient and easy-to-use supplemental zone heater that can help control high home heating bills while protecting winter air quality.
Fireplace inserts are installed into an existing wood burning fireplace, and come in a variety of options based on what kind of fuel they use to operate (natural gas, propane, EPA-certified wood, and more). They are manufactured using cast iron or stainless steel and come with many features, including (on some models) self-cleaning doors, thermostat control and more.
Almost anyone who is using a traditional wood burning fireplace can get more efficiency.
Types of Fireplace Inserts
Electric Fireplace Insert:
Electric fireplace inserts are incredibly easy to install and use. Simple place the insert within the fireplace and plug it in to a standard electric outlet. Electric fireplace inserts tend not to produce a realistic flame like other insert options, but they they do burn very cleanly and include convenient options like remote control. Electric inserts can be very portable and provide warmth without any dangerous creosote buildup found in a wood-burning fireplace, or heat loss through an old chimney.
Gas Fireplace Inserts:
Gas fireplace inserts come in options for natural gas and propane, or even for pellet or coal. They also have different venting options. Direct vent fireplace inserts work like standard direct vent fireplaces - by drawing air from within the home and venting it outside. There are also ventless fireplace inserts which to not use any venting, and come with sensors to monitor oxygen levels within your home.
Also, you can check out pellet and wood-burning inserts, which allow a standard wood-burning fireplace to burn either environmentally-friendly pellet or corn fuels or an inexpensive and readily available fossil fuel. If you want to use either of these types of fireplace insert, you should have your chimney or flue inspected by a professional to find out if they can support this option.