A wood fireplace brings a certain aesthetic to a home that no other design element can produce. Regardless of the concept you’re going for; a fire sets a tone of warmth and comfort that invites people in and makes them want to stay. It allows for intimacy, relaxation and provides a real sense of home with the charm of the frolicking flames, the smell of the wood, and the crackle of the embers. There is no recreating the sensations brought on from sitting in front of an authentic fire.

Traditional Fireplace vs Wood Insert Installation Contractors In Greenbank WA

On the other side of the coin, with the traditional fireplace, there comes polluting emissions, safety hazards for little ones and the surrounding property, consistent monitoring, wood-borne pests. You can consider a fireplace insert as an option to retain the desirable charm from the traditional wood-burning fireplace but avoid the unwanted hazards that come with it. For you to gain the optimal efficiency of an insert, proper installation is necessary through a professional contractor like Whidbey Heating and Stoves.

Comparing Efficiency

The open damper of a conventional fireplace releases heated air through the chimney with the open hearth reducing the temperature inside the firebox, decreasing the overall efficiency of the fire burning. With the firebox enclosed and the flue reduced, fireplace inserts offer greater efficiency and fewer emissions. There are a variety of options for inserts for you to choose from, meaning you need to decide between fuel types, venting choices, aesthetics, and price point.

In some cases, homeowners opt for the wood-burners, but there is an increasing number of people choosing gas options, electric, or processed pellets.

• The wood-burners offer some of the same aesthetics that a traditional box provides but is a massive improvement from the built-in as far as efficiency. You will still have the ash, litter, and woodpile to contend with, yet there will also be the charm of the crackle, the natural flames, and the wood smell, though, the insert will seal off the current opening. The wood-burning unit comprises a ‘plenum’ that goes around a ‘refractory chamber’ responsible for circulating the air in the room throughout the hot box and back out into the atmosphere.

The firebox boasts to burn more thoroughly compared to the conventional with polluting emissions decreased along with allergens. A flue, smaller in size, goes into the chimney to release gases and smoke while all embers remain contained.

• Pellets are a wood byproduct or biomass with the woodpile disappearing in favor of clean bags of pellets meaning no wood chopping. The pellets note as having a hopper comprising an auger metering them to the firepot. There is a fan responsible for circulating the warm air throughout the room. There are minimal amounts of ash. You will still see real flames and what boasts as ‘realistic appearing’ ceramic ‘wood.’

• With gas, you have elimination of the mess and work of an old fire space but keep the look. The maintenance touts consisting of merely cleaning the glass periodically. You will have to have a liquid propane tank or natural gas hook up for the system, which will provide ‘logs’ of ceramic material that give off flames that you can adjust. The notation is the intake of air from outside circulates throughout the firebox with the heated air then blowing out into the space and cool air venting to the outside. Safety precautions are provided for using a traditional space at


• There are many styles for electric inserts, which deem as circulating heaters offering an appearance of flames and the potential for wood crackling sound. There is no need to have a chimney with this variety and no venting requirement. The insert has remote options. There must be the availability of an energy source close to the hearth to use this variation of the insert.

A conventional fireplace is lovely, with most people preferring to have one when they look for a home. But a fireplace insert deems a much more efficient heat source than the traditional option. The design is specific to creating a ‘closed combustion system’ where the unit takes air needed for combustion from an outside resource, recirculates warm air, and releases it. It produces a clean burn regardless of the fuel used and optimized efficiency.

The important thing is to ensure that the installation takes place through a professional contractor, so they can inspect the existing structure deeming it suitable for the unit. An expert will make sure that the system installation is smooth, so there are no issues with safety when using the unit, and you obtain the ideal in performance, longevity, and efficiency.

Having a fireplace is a beautiful concept, and choosing an insert will give you the same type of aesthetic and warm, welcoming vibe, albeit with more heating benefits.