The downside of a traditional fireplace is that only 5% to 10% of the heat it produces actually stays in the home, the rest goes up the chimney along with soot and other harmful combustion byproducts. If you have been looking for an environmentally friendly, alternative heating option, you may have already ruled out your fireplace for this reason. If you install a wood burning insert in your fireplace, you can reduce your environmental impact and your heating bills.
A wood burning fireplace insert upgrades the appearance and functionality of your fireplace, allowing you to use it as a reliable, alternative heating source. The many advantages of choosing a wood burning fireplace make it an excellent investment.
1. Environmentally Friendly
Wood is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels because it is a renewable, sustainable resource that is considered carbon-neutral by the Carbon Trust. Whether naturally decaying in the woods or burning in your hearth, wood releases the same amount of carbon. For the environmentally conscious, it continues to be one of the most responsible fuel choices.
Contemporary wood burning inserts are designed to burn up the harmful combustion byproducts that a traditional fireplace releases into the atmosphere. Today’s wood burning fireplace insert emits less than 1 gram of smoke per hour, which exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean air standards. The addition of a wood burning insert will transform your fireplace into an environmentally friendly heating appliance.
2. Energy Efficient
The same innovative design that reduces the smoke and emissions that an insert produces also results in higher energy efficiency. Some models have over 80% efficiency. The dual combustion system within a wood burning fireplace insert is what generates a hotter, longer lasting fire. The improved venting system prevents this heat from quickly escaping up the chimney and heat distributor fans push it into your home instead. With the right insert you can easily heat a large living space insert. You will also be able to go hours without having to add extra fuel to the fire.
3. Cost Effective
If you are a homeowner who is primarily interested in reducing your heating/cooling bills, you will be extremely happy with a wood burning fireplace insert. First of all, your supply of wood will last significantly longer since one load of wood can burn for up to 8 hours in the right fireplace insert. Also, the increased heat output of an insert will allow you to effectively zone heat your home on chilly fall days and throughout the harshly cold months of winter.
Along with these advantages, a fireplace insert will bring down the cost of heating and cooling your home throughout the year. Insulation is places around a fireplace insert when it is installed. This insulation will prevent cool air from escaping during the summer and hot air from leaking out during the winter. The glass doors of the insert will also prevent down-draft problems. As you can see, installing a wood burning insert can have a big impact on your budget.
4. Reduced Maintenance Costs
While a wood burning insert will not eliminate the necessity for an annual chimney cleaning, it will reduce the cost of repairing and maintaining your fireplace through the years. When a fireplace insert is installed, the integrity of a fireplace is restored without the high price of rebuilding or renovating a masonry fireplace. Most fireplace inserts have a long-term warranty so that future repairs will be covered. Even if your warranty has expired, replacing or repairing a damaged insert is usually significantly less expensive than repairing a masonry fireplace.
5. Stylish Design & Special features
The addition of a fireplace insert can also update or improve the appearance of your fireplace. Fireplace inserts are available in a diverse range of styles. Whether you have contemporary or traditional taste, you are sure to find an insert that will complement your style so that your fireplace will continue to be an attractive focal point in the room. Inserts also offer features that you cannot get with a traditional fireplace such as thermostat control, heat distributor fans and self-cleaning glass.
If you are a Toronto resident who is thinking about upgrading your fireplace with a wood burning insert, stop by our showroom. Seeing a live burning display is one of the best ways to determine if a wood burning fireplace insert is the right choice for you.