Wood-burning fireplaces are not efficient when it comes to retaining the heat of the fire–and in fact, older fireplaces can operate at just a 5 percent efficiency. They traditionally pull the warm air from the inside of the home into the fire, and a lot of energy becomes lost when the heat goes up the chimney. This energy loss is only intensified when the temperature is at below freezing.
Fireplace inserts can be used to help increase efficiency in a few ways, depending on the type of insert. Wood fireplace inserts specifically can be used to create a traditional fire, rather than a simulated one. Read on to learn more about fireplace inserts in general and about the benefits of a wood fireplace insert for your home.
Fireplace inserts are fireproof boxes used to create a closed combustion system
Inserts are boxes that are surrounded by cast iron or steel with insulated glass at the front, a design which creates a closed system that radiates heat into the room. It is the use of steel or cast iron that is able to trap heat to make the fireplace more efficient. There are three types of fireplace inserts. They are electrical, gas, and wood, each of which have distinct benefits and efficiency levels.
Wood fireplace inserts can keep a fire going for as long as 8 hours
Depending on its size, this type of insert can put out over 65,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs, which are a measurement of heat) per hour, which is more than sufficient for heating a room of medium size. This can typically be kept up for 6 to 8 hours. The efficiency of wood fireplace inserts is about 70 – 80 percent, which is much higher than that of traditional fireplaces.
They require consistent maintenance and annual professional inspections
Ashes should be removed regularly from an insert, and each year a professional inspection and cleaning is required, such as our Victoria BC WETT Inspections.
Contact us to discuss your options for a wood fireplace insert.