HPBA Heating Products at-a-Glance: Your Local Hearth Retailer Can Help Select the Best Product For Your Home – Part 3 of 4
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TYPE Inserts
BENEFITS Fireplace inserts are heating units that retrofit into an existing fireplace (masonry or factory-built). Inserts are used to change an existing non-efficient fireplace into an efficient room heater.
INSTALLATION Inserts utilize the existing chimney, though a flue liner or other modification may be necessary. Vent-free inserts for gas, electric or propane require no chimney or flue modification. Most have blowers to circulate the heat.
FUEL USE/TYPE Fireplace inserts burn wood, natural gas, propane, wood and corn pellets, or run on electricity.
COST*
Includes estimated price of average product and installation (in US $)
Wood FireTypical cost of a wood, pellet or gas insert into existing fireplace with new liner: $3,000-$4,000 (assumes no gas line work).

Electric FireplaceElectric inserts are simple to install into an existing unused masonry fireplace. The typical cost: $100-$300.
ESTIMATED EFFICIENCY**
Effiency is measured differently for different fuel types
Wood Fire Wood inserts (EPA certified) are 60 – 80% efficient.
Natural GasPellet inserts are 50 – 80% efficient.
Natural GasHeater-listed direct-vent gas fireplace inserts are 58 – 80% efficient.
Natural GasVent-free gas stoves are 92 – 99% efficient.
Electric FireplaceElectric inserts are up to 99% efficient..

 

* Accessories such as remote controls and gas line work may add to the estimated cost.

**Efficiency Notes: 1) Vent-free gas appliances: Some sources use 92-99% depending on how efficiencies are measured. 2) Electric appliances: The energy efficiency measured on this chart does not take into account getting electricity to the house. 3) Canadian residents: For more information on the efficiency ratings for gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts, go to http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/equipment/english/fireplace-search.cfm. Vent-free products are not available in Canada. 4) Data for efficiency ratings came from multiple sources, including: HPBA members, energy.cas.psu.edu, Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance, hometips.com. 5) The estimated efficiency number (higher is better) is the result of measuring how much energy comes out of the hearth product from the amount of fuel put into it.

*** The delivered efficiency of corn stoves is slightly less than pellet stoves due to the higher moisture content in corn compared to wood pellets. Visit www.hpba.org/fuelcalculator to learn more.