How A Fireplace Insert Can Warm Up Your Home

Outdoor Fireplaces

When it gets cold in Hamilton, NJ, your thoughts turn to warming things up with your fireplace. But you never use it because it’s hard to maintain and inefficient. If so, a fireplace insert could be the answer.

What is a fireplace insert?

The fireplace insert is a device inserted into an existing fireplace. It’s kind of like a stove, and it has a firebox surrounded by a cast iron or steel shell, which delivers the heat into the room. A decorative faceplate covers the space between the insert body and the fireplace opening. Most have self-cleaning glass doors that let you view the flames.

Fireplaces are often inefficient and polluting. They pull warm air out of the room and into the fire. A lot of the energy and heat goes up the chimney and through the surrounding material. When temperatures drop below freezing, a fireplace uses more energy than it creates. An older fireplace might only be 5 to 10 percent efficient.

This is why fireplace inserts are a great option if you already have an open fireplace and chimney. Besides the improved efficiency, they also give your room an attractive focal point.

Properly installed, fireplace inserts are much more efficient for supplemental heating than a traditional fireplace because they create a closed combustion system. Some inserts have a blower that pushes the hot air back into the room through vents. Fresh air enters through vents below, circulates around the main chamber where it’s heated up, and the warmed air then exits through vents on the top of the unit.

Fireplace inserts can use any one of several types of fuel: natural gas, propane, EPA-certified wood, pellet, coal and electricity.

Today, fireplace inserts often have additional features, such as fans and thermostatic controls, depending on the fuel type. Electric, propane, and gas fireplace inserts also offer a big timesaving advantage: All you have to do to start the flames is push a button. Depending on the model, this might even be on a remote.

Wouldn’t you like to kick back on the couch and start your new fireplace insert from across the room? Let us at Bowden’s Fireside help you improve your fireplace with a fireplace insert! If you’re a NJ homeowner, call us today at (609) 586-3344.

Wood Stove Safety 101

fireplace installation in millstone nj by bowden's fireside

Wood stoves are often a more efficient way to heat your home than traditional fireplaces. Many wood stoves can even provide warmth for more than one room. Yet, more than 4,000 residential fires each year are started by wood stoves. To keep your wood stove operating safely, consider these tips:

  • Check with your local fire department about local ordinances on solid fuel burning appliances before buying a stove unit.
  • Be sure the unit has been tested and is listed with a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Pay attention to the manufacturer’s clearance requirements and follow directions. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises 36” or 1 meter clearances away from any flammable items, such as curtains or flooring.
  • Install a floor protector that meets the heating appliance manufacturer’s requirements, and extends at least 18 inches on all sides of the heater, unless the manufacturer states otherwise.
  • Yearly, have the chimney and stovepipe cleaned and inspected.
  • Burn only seasoned hardwood or wood pellets in the stove.
  • Wait until ashes have cooled before removing them. Transfer ashes in a covered metal container to an outside location 10 feet or more away from the home, and douse them with water.

For more information about wood stove safety and to purchase a wood stove in New Jersey today, contact Bowden’s Fireside!