Now's the Time: Upgrade with a Fireplace Insert

If you’ve heard rumblings about the significant inefficiencies of open-burning wood fireplaces, they are true. And if you have this type of fireplace, upgrading it is relatively inexpensive, resulting in a beautiful heat producing asset for your home.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, open-burning wood fireplaces can exhaust 24,000 cubic feet of warm air per hour outside, which in turn draws in cold air in through your home’s doors and windows. They are only considered to be -15 to +15 percent efficient – translated, that’s extremely inefficient!

The good news is… you don’t have to sacrifice the beauty of your existing fireplace to make it more efficient with a fireplace insert. And this is the best time of year to make the improvement, before winter arrives.

As the name suggests, an insert fits directly into your existing fireplace, greatly enhancing its performance and beauty. Inserts are available in multiple designs and fuel types:

p>Wood Inserts

They burn cord wood, but much more efficiently! EPA-certified wood inserts can be up to 78% efficient and are kind to the environment, expelling minimal pollutants outside. Some units can burn and heat for more than 10 hours on a single load of quality wood. And because they burn so completely, you’ll have minimal ash to clean up. Technologies like Harman's FireDome boost performance considerably.

Pellet Inserts

They burn wood pellets made from byproducts like sawdust and wood chips. Since they heat like crazy, a pellet insert is a great choice if you’re tired of paying top dollar for fuel oil or propane. Many pellet inserts have programmable thermostats that adjust heat output to your liking. They produce very little ash and some units even have automatic cleaning cycles. Examples of technologies that boost performance and efficiency are Harman's Pellet Pro System and Exhaust Sensing Probe (ESP).


The cost of adding an insert, including installation, can be as low as $2,900 for gas and wood-burning units, and $3,200 for pellet-burning inserts (actual costs vary by area of the country and model chosen). For safe and reliable installation, we recommend professional installers certified by the National Fireplace Institute®.

You don’t have to live with an inefficient, energy-sucking fireplace. Upgrade it with an insert – your home will heat more efficiently and it will look fabulous! See the options here.