A warm hearth and home are among the simple pleasures that you would experience if you had a wood-burning fireplace. Many of our customers enjoy their fireplace or wood-burning insert so much, they insist on burning fires as soon as the fall temps get in the 50s!
Regardless of your motivation, the reasons for the installation of a fireplace or fireplace insert that burns wood are reasons you should understand.
Homeowners are motivated to burn wood in their homes for ambiance which cannot be matched by any propane or natural gas equipment.
Having a supplemental source of heat like a wood-burning fireplace stove is a necessity that appeals to those who are subject to power failures or simply want to lower their gas or electric utility bills.
Let’s look at the benefits and maintenance costs of both wood fireplaces or wood stove inserts for a fireplace and see if the inclusion of burning wood as a source of hearth enjoyment is a good fit for you.
Are wood-burning fireplaces illegal to install in some cities and states?
YES. Air quality and other environmental considerations have made wood fireplaces illegal to install in new or existing homes in a few parts of the country. In Colorado, for example, due to the elevation and other environmental conditions, wood smoke would cause issues unique to some locations in the state.
Several other municipalities have restrictions on burning wood that homeowners (and hearth lovers) need to be aware of. In the Kansas City Metro, as well as the majority of the rest of the country, wood stoves, fireplaces and inserts are allowed (with various degrees of regulation).
Contact your local environmental or building department as well as the EPA for more information unique to your area.
Are wood burning fireplace inserts efficient?
The efficiency of wood stoves and fireplace inserts have improved substantially in recent years, with modern wood-burning fireplaces and wood inserts reaching over 70% efficiency.
Environmental regulation combined with manufacturer investment into research and development has made wood-burning appliance emissions and output on par with fireplaces that burn natural gas or other fossil fuels.
Compared to wood-burning fireplaces, for example, the installation of a wood stove insert for fireplaces uses a fraction of the wood and indoor air, saving costly energy dollars and contributing to a cleaner environment.
Modern wood-burning stoves have clean-burning technology engineered into their design that simply did not exist just a few years ago. By improving the combustion process (both by catalytic combustion and non-catalytic technology) wood-burning space heaters turn more wood into usable heat and are less likely to soil the air.
Choosing an EPA rated wood stove insert for your fireplace “makes dollars and sense”.
Learning proper maintenance and operation of your wood-burning equipment allows the benefits of heating with wood to be yours without the issues common to older stoves and fireplace inserts.
Can I heat my home with a wood burning fireplace insert?
Masonry wood fireplaces heat your home by radiant heat; that is, the ultraviolet radiation from the flame. Warmed up brickwork sends out UV rays that in turn warm you and the objects within line of sight of the fireplace. The warmed objects can then warm the air around them making the room and occupants feel warmer. However, due to the quantity of household air needed to keep a traditional fireplace operating properly, the amount of warm air (that the furnace produced) is leaving the home faster than the fireplace can make new heat. That is why fireplaces are often blamed for making a home colder, not warmer.
Since a wood-burning fireplace consumes 250 – 500 cubic feet of the home’s air per minute (CFM), fresh outside air has to come into the home, replacing the primary and secondary air going up the chimney. This heat loss can be minimized by burning the right kind of wood and with the use of fireplace glass doors. Though, it’s hard to get a traditional fireplace to contribute more heat than the heated air it consumes. The addition of a blower to your wood-burning fireplace may help with noticeable heat, but to really warm things up, we’ll have to look at wood stoves and fireplace inserts with blowers.
Wood Stoves and Fireplace Inserts
By adding a wood stove to your home or a wood-burning insert to your existing fireplace, we can get all the warmth and enjoyment from burning wood, without the inefficiencies of a wood fireplace.
It’s not without consideration that earlier homeowners heated, cooked and survived in comfort, all with the use of a wood stove exclusively.
As stated earlier, wood stoves and fireplace inserts have improved design features from earlier designs and do not suffer from the air consumption found with fireplaces. But proper operation and maintenance are required to keep them performing and safe.
By following the fireplace manufacturer’s recommendations for burning and sweeping the chimney’s flue, the investment in the equipment can pay for itself in just a few years in natural gas or electrical heating cost. Because the heat and appearance of a stove and fireplace that burn wood is so pleasant, most wood burning homeowners would keep their wood stove even without the savings in home heating cost.
Consider the Wood Burning Fireplace Inserts with Blower
A wood-burning fireplace insert with blower is a popular fireplace accessory for you if heat output is an interest. All stoves and fireplace inserts that burn wood put out substantial heat but may take an hour or more before it is felt. With the addition of a blower to our wood insert, noticeable warmth is observed in as little as fifteen minutes! This is great if you want a quick-fire just to take the chill off.
Contact Us About Wood-Burning Inserts
Your Chimney Sweep Is Your Fireplaces Best Friend
Like all parts of your home, chimneys, fireplaces and wood inserts need routine maintenance for safety and efficiency. Having a trusted, trained and Certified Chimney Sweep perform chimney and stove cleaning after an inspection is a must to minimize the issues found with wood-burning fireplaces and/or a wood fireplace insert.
The burning of wood, especially in a stove or insert, produces dangerous soot and creosote. There are steps to minimize creosote build-up, but there is no substitute for sweeping the flue before the creosote builds up to an unsafe level.
Creosote build-up from improper operation or delayed maintenance risk the hazard of a chimney fire. Frequently, these flue fires damage or destroy parts of the chimney and vent and occasionally spread to the home.
Allow Full Service Chimney Sweeps of Kansas City to not only provide sound advice for your selection of wood-burning equipment and determine which wood stove or fireplace is best but also to provide reliable ongoing maintenance.
“We know… how to keep fire in its place.”
Robert Berry – Owner / Master Chimney Sweep