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Free-Standing Wood Stoves Versus Wood Stove Inserts

Drolet Cheap Fireplace InsertUFS member stores offer a wide range of free-standing wood stoves along with a great selection of wood stove inserts. Find the best wood stove for your needs at your local UFS member hearth shop.

Modern wood stoves are in vogue because of their numerous benefits, and they come in many styles and varieties. Buyers should weigh the many options available. It helps to compare the attributes and benefits of one wood stove with another, to ensure long-term satisfaction with the appliance. Below is information about both wood-burning fireplace inserts and free-standing wood stoves. Which product offers the most benefits depends upon the needs and preferences of the homeowner.

Wood Stove Inserts

For anyone with a beautiful fireplace surround but a fireplace that needs repair, a wood stove insert is an ideal solution. Benefits to having a wood stove insert installed in your existing fireplace include the following, along with a few tips:

  • A traditional open fireplace only has an efficiency rating of about 10%, which means 90% of the heat goes up the chimney. A wood stove insert has an efficiency rating of approximately 77%. What these percentages mean, bottom line, is that you can cut heating costs and rely more on your fireplace for warmth when it’s cold outside.
  • You can still enjoy the inherent beauty of a traditional fireplace while improving efficiency.
  • While a fireplace insert increases the amount of heat that goes into the home, creosote is still deposited in the chimney whenever there is a fire in the fireplace. There is less creosote, however, because the fireplace insert creates better combustion. Creosote can also be reduced by:
    • Burning seasoned firewood (wood with low moisture content) Cut and split a year in advance of when you will be burning it.
    • Ensuring that the draft is operating well (air moves into the fireplace to feed the combustion process and then combustion by-products move up and out of the chimney, rather than creating smoke in the home)
    • The firewood in the firebox of an insert can burn up to eight hours.
    • Professional installation of the firebox is recommended because the alignment of the flue with the insert and a lot of manufacturers’ warranties are void if not professionally installed. Check with your insurance company as well to see if they will cover an insert if you install it. A stainless steel flue lining is needed on all wood inserts and an insulating wrap around the new liner as well.

Premium Wood StovesFree-Standing Wood Stoves

Wood-burning stoves are recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) primarily because they are very earth friendly. The efficiency of a modern free-standing wood stove is very similar to the efficiency of a wood stove insert, and it’s possible to get a wood-burning stove with 70 to 80% efficiency. Another way to put it is, that very little smoke will exit your chimney because of complete combustion within firebox. With dry wood the ash left behind will be a fine talcum powder if you are burning good quality wood. Here are more benefits of a free-standing wood stove:

  • Modern wood stoves reduce the amount of dust and smoke that enter the home, especially compared to old models. In fact, 70% fewer particles are released inside and outside.
  • The stoves are, at minimum, over 65% efficient.
  • To produce the same amount of heat as an older model wood stove, you will need 1/3 less wood.
  • Wood smoke can be dangerous and create health problems, especially for the very young and the elderly. Because of combustion efficiency, there are fewer methane, black carbon, and carbon monoxide emissions when you use a free-standing wood stove.
  • There are many and widely varied styles and colors to choose from, including wood stoves made with soapstone or with enamel.
  • Some steel wood stoves allow you to install the stove closer to the wall than if you choose a cast iron stove. This is not true in all cases and depends on heat shields on the units.
  • You can choose a wood stove with ceramic glass doors, which will allow you to have the pleasure of watching the flames, allow better heat transmission, and are stronger than the glass on a traditional fireplace.

Whether you choose a wood stove insert or a free-standing wood stove, you can’t go wrong with the most economical method of heating your home.