Top Reasons to Install a Fireplace Insert
If you’re a homeowner who has a fireplace but doesn’t use it because of the hassle of maintenance or because it’s not efficient at warming your home, installing a fireplace insert may solve those problems and then some. Let’s take a deep dive, with our fireplace and chimney experts, into the world of fireplace inserts and see if they’re right for you.
What is a Fireplace Insert?
Although fireplaces are beautiful and romantic, they’re terribly inefficient heat sources. Generally, fireplace efficiency hovers between 15% and 20%, compared to other heating appliances like a furnace, which runs between 80% and 90%.
According to epa.gov, Fireplace drafts can pull the warm air up the chimney, causing other rooms to be cooler. If you use central heat while burning in a fireplace, your heater will work harder to maintain constant temperatures throughout the house.
So, not only do you not get the heat output you want, you spend more on your energy expenses because your furnace has to run more to make the difference. This is where a fireplace insert can help. Fireplace inserts are metal boxes designed to fit into your existing masonry fireplace. Most inserts come with a blower to help circulate the warm air throughout the room for more even heating.
Top Benefits of a Fireplace Insert Installation
Now that you know what a fireplace insert is, here are the main benefits of installing one.
Many people never consider a fireplace insert because they know how inefficient a typical masonry fireplace is and don’t see an insert as being any different. However, installing an insert can improve your fire’s efficiency by up to 80%.
How is this possible? Much of the heat generated by your fireplace goes up the chimney, but because an insert is sealed, that heat stays in the house. Moreover, traditional fireplaces have dampers to regulate airflow, which is another escape vector for heat, but inserts don’t use dampers or flues. Better heating efficiency means more comfort and less work needed by your furnace or other heating appliance, which saves money.
Yes, a traditional fireplace has nostalgic appeal, but let’s be honest; they’re dangerous. Data released by the National Fire Protection Association says that, Fireplaces or chimneys are responsible for approximately three in ten fires caused by heating equipment and were the second leading cause of home heating equipment fires.
With a wood-burning fireplace, you must stay on top of chimney cleaning and maintenance to remove hazardous creosote and monitor for potential carbon monoxide. Most experts agree that fireplace inserts are safer than a traditional masonry fireplace because they’re designed with safety in mind. You can install a model with automatic shut-off systems and safety screens to reduce fire risk and injury.
Let’s say you’re building a home and are considering installing a fireplace. Consider that an insert gives you all of the benefits of a fireplace at a lower cost because they’re easier to install. Generally, a fireplace insert will run a few hundred dollars, while a masonry fireplace could be anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 or more.
Installing a fireplace insert makes more economic sense when you factor in the money you’ll save on your heating expenses.
Lastly, depending on your preference, you can choose a fireplace insert to burn various fuels, such as natural gas, propane, or wood pellets.
How Do They Look?
When people think about fireplace inserts, many envision a bland metal box that looks terrible compared to the classic charm of a masonry fireplace. While some older models lacked the aesthetic appeal of a traditional fireplace, modern inserts are available in various styles and designs, from modern to contemporary. Plus, you can customize your insert with a finish to perfectly match your interior decor.
The bottom line is that you get many more options with an insert than with a traditional masonry fireplace.
Installing a fireplace insert is an excellent way to maximize your home heating and reduce energy expenses while still enjoying a roaring fire on those chilly winter nights.
Call National Chimney Cleaners
If you’re interested in a fireplace insert, call the pros at National Chimney Cleansers. We’re the go-to experts for all things chimneys and fireplaces in Morris County, NJ. We have over 20 years of experience, and our team of certified experts handles everything from chimney sweeping, liner repair, leak repair, masonry repair, venting issues, crown and cap repair, flashing repair, and more. Call us today at 800-631-6177 or reach us online.