How Do Fireplace Inserts Work? Are They Safe? How Much Do They Cost?

How Do Fireplace Inserts Work? Are They Safe? How Much Do They Cost? Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Fireplace inserts are a favorite option for homeowners seeking to maintain the traditional fireplace’s charm but enhance heat output and fuel efficiency.

How Do Inserts Work?

fireplace insert work

An insert  a fire-resistant box that is encased in cast iron or steel. The front of this box is made of self-cleaning insulated glass. The fireplace insert is either placed into an existent fireplace or a newly-built fireplace structure.

One reason a fireplace lover would turn to a fireplace insert is because of heat loss. The crackle of a conventional fireplace has charm, but it does not provide heat efficiently.

Fireplace inserts are a more reliable heat source than traditional. The increased efficiency is because of the design of a fireplace insert, developing a closed heating system. In a closed combustion system, the system takes the air necessary for combustion from an external source, recirculates the warm air, and lets it vent through a duct (known as a flue). This system allows for the burning of optimum heat efficiency and the clean-burning of your chosen fuel source.

The difference between an open combustion system generated by a traditional fireplace and a closed combustion system formed by a fireplace insert is where it takes the air/oxygen in from. An open combustion system takes the air in from the area where the fireplace resides. Then, the ash, air, and smoke escape through a different duct (typically a chimney). This system leads to an efficient heat system, as most escapes through the chimney.

A traditional fireplace only turns about 20 percent of its fuel into useful heat, with some old fireplaces being as low as 5-10 percent. The closed combustion system can be 60-80% effective.

Fireplace Inserts can use many different fuels:

  • Propane
  • Natural Gas
  • Pellets
  • Electric
  • Wood
  • Coal

Are Fireplace Inserts Safe?

Fireplace safety gloves

The most significant consideration is to make sure that your fireplace insert is installed by a professional. Proper installation is essential to both safety and to guarantee you’re getting heat efficiency.

We use glass for the construction of the front of your inserts and help emit heat into your space. Some of the metallic or glass elements of your insert may get hot to the touch, handle them with care. However, fireplace inserts are being made with new ‘Safe Touch’ technologies, which keep the glass surfaces of your insert at extremely low temperatures.

A negative aspect of a fireplace is that it generates smoke inside your house and put out to the surroundings. The smoke from a fireplace is a combination of gases and particles that can affect your eyes and respiratory system. Whether you put in gas, pellet, or wood fireplace insert in your house, inserts lead to a cleaner fuel burn and much less smoke.

Are Fireplace Inserts worth the Price?

fireplace insert work

Overall, a fireplace insert gives most people the value they desire to include:

Time Savings: Less maintenance like cleaning, removing ash, and adding wood to the fire.

Charm: it is still possible to have the bright glow and romantic crackle of a traditional fireplace with an insert. You open yourself to a whole new world of options like stones, glass stones, bronze doors, log sets, and much more.

Savings: Fireplace inserts can enable you to decrease your heating bill. We do not recommend a Fireplace insert as the sole use of heating, but when used in conjunction with turning down your thermostat, it can save you money on your heating expense. The exact cost will depend on the fuel source you use and the cost of fuel.

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