Fireplace inserts are categorized primarily by the type of fuel used (natural gas, propane, EPA-certified wood, pellet and coal), though most people associate them with burning wood.Fireplace inserts are invariably made from cast iron or steel and most have self-cleaning glass doors that allow the flames of the fire to be viewed while the insulated doors remain closed, making the fire more efficient.
Read More This makes use of an "air wash" system whereby clean air is directed across the interior surface of the glass and thus prevents the build up of deposits.
Today, many manufacturers also augment the operation of fireplace inserts by offering features such as fans and thermostatic controls, depending on the fuel type. Typically fresh air enters through vents below, circulates around the main chamber, where it is heated up, and the warmed air then exits through vents on the top of the unit. Fireplace inserts are popular with people who have an existing open fireplace and chimney, since they significantly improve both fuel efficiency and heat output while also providing an attractive focal point to a room. The disadvantages when compared to a free standing wood burning stove are that they are more expensive to install and obviously also depend upon there being a usable fireplace and chimney already in place.
Electric Fireplace Insert
They 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 vent less 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 options.
Wood Fireplace Inserts
The main benefit of a wood fireplace inserts is that it gives you the beauty of an open fireplace with the performance of a state-of-the-art wood stove. The efficiency rating for wood fireplace inserts generally runs around 50 percent less than gas inserts but better than traditional fireplaces.The National Fire Protection Association requires a stainless-steel connector between the insert and the chimney's flue liner, or a connector that runs all the way up the chimney (this setup is easier to clean). In many cases, some internal realignment of the chimney is necessary.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies all wood fireplace inserts to ensure that they burn wood efficiently, safely and with less smoke. Sized and installed properly, an EPA-certified wood fireplace insert will also reduce wood consumption and reduce maintenance of the insert and the chimney.