Fireplace Insert Venting Demystified

Fireplace inserts transform inefficient masonry built wood-burning fireplaces into beautiful heat producers for the home. There are three types of fireplace inserts – gas, wood and pellet. Gas inserts are a good choice if convenience is important, as they operate at the flip of a switch or remote control. If you prefer to keep on heating with wood, or make a change to pellets, a wood or pellet insert will turn your fireplace into a heating powerhouse.

Each type of insert uses the existing chimney to ventilate vertically, terminating at the roof. This illustration will help you visualize the venting required for fireplace inserts…


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Open, masonry built wood-burning fireplaces are inefficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), they can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside, which in turn draws in cold air in through the home’s doors and windows. Because they are only -15 to +15 percent efficient, the DOE considers them one of the most inefficient heat sources in homes. Converting to an insert will turn those statistics around, making your fireplace up to 85 percent efficient.

Upgrading your masonry built wood-burning fireplace with an insert is a smart decision that you’ll never regret. Doing so will not only make your home more efficient, it can help to save money by transforming the fireplace into an efficient heating unit.

There are many fireplace inserts from which to choose. Check them out here.

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