Fireplaces are meant to add to the warmth and comfort of your home, but if you have a traditional open-hearth the opposite might be true. Open-hearth fireplaces can send as much as 8 percent of your home’s heated air up and out of the chimney, meaning an open-hearth fireplace can actually make your home colder and more expensive to heat. Even when the fireplace is in use, an open-hearth wood-burning fireplace only returns about 10 percent of the fire’s heat to your home. The remaining 90 percent exiting the chimney.

If you love your wood-burning fireplace, you don’t have to trade of the comforting glow of a wood fire for a drafty, inefficient heat source! You can transform your hearth’s energy output with a wood-burning fireplace insert! A wood-burning insert can increase your fireplace’s efficiency and turn your fireplace into a heating powerhouse!

How does a fireplace insert work?

As the name suggests, a fireplace insert is fitted into your existing hearth space. An insert features a heavy-duty metal box with a heavy ceramic door and a system of blowers. As the fire burns, air from your home is pulled into the space around the fireplace insert, where it’s heated. A blower returns that heated air to your home. The ceramic doors also capture the fire’s heat and radiate it outward into your room. Depending on your existing chimney structure, your chimney might be fitted with a new liner to properly vent and deal with the extreme heat of your fireplace insert.

How much heat does a wood-burning insert create?

The exact amount of heat put off by your wood-burning insert will depend on the model you choose. A wood-burning fireplace insert can heat as much as 3,000 square feet of living space. Efficiencies of different models generally range between 60 and 80 percent. Depending on your existing heating systems and the size and layout of your home, installing and using an efficient wood-burning fireplace insert can lower your home-heating bills by as much as 40 percent.

What are the other benefits of a wood-burning fireplace insert?

A wood-burning fireplace insert can serve as a low-cost heating source for your home. It also can increase the usability of your fireplace. While an open-hearth fireplace is generally lit for ambiance when people are using the room, a wood-burning fireplace insert can safely burn around the clock to provide a constant source of heat. Small inserts will generally burn up to four hours without needing to be reloaded or tended, while larger inserts can burn for up to 10 hours without needing more wood. Finally, an efficient wood-burning insert can improve the air quality in your home; all of the smoke and particulate matter put off by the fireplace exits through the chimney, rather than entering your home, as it does with an open-hearth fireplace.

How do I choose a wood-burning fireplace insert?

If you’re ready to turn your fireplace into a heating powerhouse with a wood-burning fireplace insert, visit Total Chimney Care’s online fireplace store or visit our retail showroom, The Cozy Flame Hearth Shop. Our fireplace experts will listen to your needs and help you select the wood-burning insert that’s perfect for your hearth.