How Do Wood Fireplace Inserts Work?
If you are a first-time homebuyer or you have lived all your life in a home that has had no fireplace, you may be forgiven if you were ignorant of what wood fireplace inserts are or what they can do and their importance in a home. Many of us live in cold places with particularly hard-biting winters, and therefore need sufficient but low-cost means of heating our homes. For starters, it is usually better to move into a house already fitted with fireplaces partly because of the heat as well as the ambience created by the fireplace.
However, the advanced combustion technology that is in vogue today demands that you have wood fireplace inserts. This is because the law in the US and Canada requires that you keep potentially polluting emissions from your home to a minimum. Wood fireplaces on their own, however, are not efficient at all and would therefore need wood fireplace inserts that are specially designed to fit onto pre-existing fireplaces so that they increase the overall heat output and help in the reduction of pollution all the while increasing the heat efficiency.
Wood fireplace inserts are inserted into each fireplace in your home transforming the old, inefficient fireplace into better, efficient heat producers. This is because wood fireplace inserts feature a firebox with a steel shell that surrounds it. Air arising from inside the house is made to flow through the shell with the resultant radiant heat warming it. This warm air is subsequently redistributed back to your house. The end result is that much of the heat that would have escaped from your old masonry fireplace is held within the house.
Some wood fireplace inserts are made up of cast iron in place of steel to create a burning box that does not lose heat. The front cover is usually insulated with glass so as to maintain the heat within the fireplace. However, a wood insert meant for use in a wood stove may also feature a blower and several vents to ensure ease of redistribution of heat in your room or house. With a wood insert, you retain a traditional fireplace look but with highly efficient heat retention in your home.
A wood insert installed in your wood burning stove looks just like your next door fireplace though the advantage is that it transforms your fireplace into a closed heating unit that produces and retains much of the heat within the home. The advantage here is that with an insert, everything becomes a little packed up together than in a traditional fireplace occupying just a little space within your home.
Wood fireplace inserts use highly advanced secondary combustion in a process that leads to complete combustion of both the wood and the smoke. They thus enhance the efficiency of your existing fireplace while at the same time helping reduce emissions. The fireplace insert creates the safety you desire in your house since the air emanating from the advanced combustion rarely mixes with the air in your house.
The Benefits of Wood Fireplace Inserts
Wood fireplace inserts are used to decrease smoke, soot and other emissions from wooden stoves. This technology is installed in existing fireplaces in order to fulfill the required environmental laws. The units are designed to be fitted into old, inefficient fireplaces. They are made from natural materials such as wood or stone and can be easily fitted in masonry and zero clearance fireplaces. Apart from wood, it is possible to find inserts that can burn gas and electric fuels. Installation in the house should be done by experts to ensure that the proper insert is used. The units contain fireboxes made from durable materials like steel. They work by heating the air in the living room when it is blown into the steel surface of the insert. The same air, now heated, is then blown back into the living room.
Wood fireplace inserts ensure complete wood combustion. When this is achieved the fireplace operates better and faster and also reduces the smoke emissions in the atmosphere. To operate, two air sources are employed. One of them prevents the emissions from going out of the chimney while the other is used to feed into the wood that is burning in the fireplace. The inserts also decrease the possibility of chimney fires by emitting lower levels of smoke, ash, and partly burnt wood into the atmosphere. Thus, these units are ideal for users who have medical conditions that prevent breathing. The enclosed inserts ensure that there are lesser emissions coming from the burning fuels compared to the old fashioned fireplaces made of stone.
More advanced wood fireplace inserts contain features like insulated glass made from ceramic and gasket doors. These features prevent the infrared heat from being released out into the house environment. The fire is also more visible with the use of these units because they provide the window with air for this purpose.
The technologically enhanced wood fireplace inserts are designed to exchange heat better and to have as minimal interaction with house air as possible. The minimal interaction ensures that partly combusted products do not escape into the house. Energy saving properties possessed by the inserts can go up to levels of seventy percent. As a result, heating bills are lowered, because the owner does not have to use electricity for heating. Time and labor is also saved by these units, as they don’t require frequent refilling. These inserts can also be used for emergency heating purposes in the event of a power blackout.
Thermostats and variable speed blowers incorporated in the inserts help to sweep the hot air into a house, thus improving its heating capacity. Fireplaces with inserts can provide up to ten times more heating effectiveness than a fireplace without one. The units can go for up to at least four hours without refilling, thus they are hassle free.
Wood fireplace inserts are found in so many options that it is possible for the owner to have a customized one for his fireplace and blend it with the interior home décor to increase the comfort in the home.
Wood Fireplace Inserts – What Are They?
Many of us enjoy our fireplaces but truth be told, nobody likes the associated costs and this is where wood fireplace inserts come in. A fireplace insert is essentially a wood stove that is specially made to exactly fit on a conventional exposed fireplace. The work of the insert is to make the burning clean and more efficient.
Wood fireplace inserts are mainly made of cast iron or plate steel with some featuring glass doors through which you can see the flames. The insert is made in such a way that it fits into the fireplace opening. Some models also protrude onto the hearth. Most inserts feature blowers that necessitate heat flow in your home while further enhancing efficiency. Some blowers are manual while others are regulated via a self-regulating thermostat.
Installing wood fireplace inserts is an art in itself.
This is because unlike in the old days, you can no longer install an insert in the fireplace without connecting it with the chimney as this leaves the insert vulnerable to possible fire outbreak. You must therefore ensure that the insert is fixed and is positively connected with the chimney. An insert must also bear a connector between the appliance outlet and the initial section in the flue liner. This arrangement aids in sending the potentially harmful gasses out of the chimney. The net result is the reduction in combustible deposits, which would otherwise concentrate in the fireplace. The recommended installation of a fireplace insert is one where there is a full relining in the chimney since the minute size of the pipe will create a better draft and an enhanced safety.
Wood fireplace inserts also need to be occasionally removed as you clean the chimney or work on improving it (maintenance). It is advisable to let a professional handle this insert, as it is quite a bulky piece of appliance that may easily fall down with possible breakage resulting from the fall. The good news is that you do not really need to remove the insert as you clean the chimney. You could just let the insert sit in its place as you clean, but only if a full relining system is installed.
Wood fireplace inserts will set you back anything between $1200 and $2000. However, accessories – blowers, brass/gold door, and extra trimmings – only add to the cost. To have it installed, you will need an additional $400-2000 depending on what kind of installation you need – direct connection or complete relining.
Wood fireplace inserts usually enhance heating efficiency in your home while lowering the pollution in the air around you. They help you get the most out of your wood sticks through ensuring nearly complete combustion. Having the right wood fireplace inserts will no doubt improve the heat output in your rooms, hence more warmth. Wood fireplace inserts are beneficial in your home, especially if you need to cut down on the cost of heating your home and reducing pollution.
Select a wood fireplace insert and start saving money today.
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