There are different designs of fireplace inserts that heat. In this guide, we’ll be looking at these types and how energy efficient they are.

Since this invention came on board in 1896, fireplace inserts have continued to remain useful with an increasing number of users as well as improvements being made.

When seeking to get the right device for your prefabricated wood fireplace or masonry, you’ll need to do a whole lot of work. This involves research for the right fireplace inserts.

You’re probably reading this right now because you want to get the right fireplace inserts that heat.

We’re here to help! In this article, we’ll be discussing all things relating to this important chimney device or component. You want your chimney to be very functional and produce the needed heat.

You’re welcome to join us in discussing all things relating to efficient fireplace inserts.

Fireplace Insert Efficiency

Now, the question most people are likely to ask has to do with identifying fireplace inserts that heat n glo.

In other words, users will want to know which fireplace inserts are most effective. So, are there multiple types of fireplace inserts?

There are! These vary by size as well as by the fuel or energy they are designed to use. All of these are meant to provide efficient heat.

Before we go into details, let’s first consider what a fireplace insert is.

What’s A Fireplace Insert?

For readers with a sketchy understanding of what a fireplace insert is, these can be compared to a modified wooden stove meant to fit within the firebox of a masonry fireplace.

A fireplace insert is an important device or fireproof box having an insulated front glass at the front while the sides are surrounded by cast iron or steel.

The fireplace insert is a stove without legs. Most inserts use either gas or wood as fuel.

These inserts are ideal for use in existing fireplaces and perfectly fit into such spaces. Not all fireplace inserts fit into existing fireplaces. They come in different sizes which you can choose from.

Here, you’ll need to measure your fireplace to determine the size that perfectly fits in.

Still, confused? Let’s put it this way; masonry fireplaces are mostly inefficient as regards energy and also cause pollution.

With a fireplace insert, such masonry fireplaces are converted into efficient heating systems. The basic makeup of a fireplace insert consists of an external steel shell that encases a firebox. So, what are those fireplace inserts that heat?

All fireplace inserts are meant to heat. However, some are considered more effective than others. Before we delve into details on efficiency, let’s discuss the types available.

As mentioned earlier, types of fireplace inserts can be categorized under fuel or energy type as well as by size.

Why You Should Consider Getting a Fireplace Insert

If you haven’t fully made up your mind about getting a fireplace insert, the following reasons may convince you to.

Fireplace inserts are much more efficient, wood-burning emissions are significantly reduced, money is saved on energy, no major remodeling work is needed, and lastly, fireplace inserts add to your home’s beauty.

  • Highly Efficient

Unlike older open fireplaces, fireplace inserts are well optimized and far more efficient. They come enclosed and have airtight door systems which result in much slower fuel combustion.

As a result, energy isn’t wasted and efficiency is significantly increased.

  • Significant Reduction of Wood-Burning Emissions

An open-hearth fireplace leaves a much bigger environmental footprint when combusting fuel than a fireplace insert. Fireplace inserts certified by the EPA are designed to drastically reduce wood-burning emissions.

These systems are much more beneficial to the environment than open-hearth fireplaces.

  • Saving Money on Energy

With the right fireplace insert, you achieve efficient wood-burning levels. This translates to lesser demand for electricity, gas, and oil for supplementary heating.

What more? Once your home is heated, the fireplace insert door is shut to prevent the escape of heated air up the chimney.

The reverse action of cold outdoor air getting in is stopped. As such, your energy costs are greatly reduced, helping you save money in the process.

  • No Need for Major Remodeling Work

No major remodeling work is necessary when it comes to using a fireplace insert.

This is also a cost-saving feature of the fireplace insert. A most, only minimal adjustments are ever made to install fireplace inserts into an existing space.

  • Aesthetically Appealing

Fireplace inserts come in various appealing designs which will fit any fireplace. You’ll need to go through as many options as possible to choose your preferred design.

Other things you’ll need to consider include the size and color of the insert as well as your preferred fuel.

Types of Fireplace Inserts by Fuel or Energy

One of the decisions you need to make when getting a fireplace insert for heating is to focus on the type you need.

Now, there are several of these. For energy or fuel type, you have pellet, coal, natural gas, EPA-certified wood, electric, and propane fireplace inserts.

Types of Fireplace Inserts that Heat

When it comes to choosing the right fireplace inserts (those that efficiently heat your home) to use, there are multiple options to choose from.

These include wood inserts, gas inserts, coal inserts, electric inserts, and pellet inserts.

Not everyone prefers the same type of inserts. For some people, a certain type of insert, say electric inserts are more preferred over other types such as pellet inserts.

The opposite may apply to others. In other words, people have different preferences.

So, what type of fireplace insert is better? All fireplace inserts serve a purpose. In other words, none can be said to be better. It all depends on what you need.

Under each of the categories mentioned above are several types of fireplace inserts. All of these functions are effective. Let’s be more specific by listing products to try out.

Let’s expand on each of these for better understanding;

  • Wood Inserts

As suggested by the name, wood fireplace inserts are designed to combust wood. In other words, wood is used as fuel. There are several types under this category.

Each of these fireplace inserts is known to be reliable.

A few of these include Vermont Castings Montpelier II, Osburn Matrix 2700, Quadra-Fire Expedition II, and Osburn Matrix 2000.

  • Pellet Fireplace Inserts

You can get a pellet stove installed in your existing fireplace with ease and begin to enjoy its numerous benefits. This fireplace insert comes in various designs.

Despite the several designs, the working principles are pretty much the same.

A pellet fireplace insert comes with a combustion blower that pulls in air from the outside through a fresh-air vent.

Smoke resulting from combustion is blown out through a stainless steel exhaust vent. This type of fireplace insert is fueled by wood pellets hence the name pellet fireplace inserts.

Some of these products include the Harman Accentra series, Quadra-Fire Santa Fe, and Quadra-Fire Trekker Pellet Insert just to name a few.

  • Coal Fireplace Inserts

These types of fireplace inserts need coal as a fuel for heating. Apart from burning coal, most inserts in this category can also be used for burning other solid fuels such as wood.

They include products such as Hitzer 983, and Hitzer EZ-FLO 503 among many others. Coal inserts can be easily installed into existing fireplace spaces and enhance the look of your fireplace.

What more? You also benefit from its efficient heating capabilities.

In other words, this is also an efficient way to heat your home.

  • Natural Gas Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace inserts under this category are widely used. As the name implies, these require gas or propane as burning fuel and are also easy to start.

You only need the switch of a button to put on the fire.

Here, you won’t be worried about placing pellets or solid fuels like other types of fireplace inserts discussed earlier.

What more? There are advantages attached to its use.

One of such is that the air within your home stays clean. Natural gas fireplace inserts are available in both vented and unvented units. There’s minimal maintenance attached to its use plus it burns at 66% to 99% efficiency.

The different types of inserts in this category include Heat & Glo Escape Insert 35, Heat & Glo Cosmo Insert 35”, Quadra-Fire Excursion III Gas Insert, and Quadra-Fire Excursion II Gas Insert.

Others include Heat & Glo Supreme, Heat & Glo Escape, Jogul GI535 DV IPI New Harbor, Valor Retrofire, Valor Portrait, Valor Portrait Windsor Arch Insert, and Valor Portrait Ledge, etc.

  • EPA-Certified Wood Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace inserts designed to use EPA-certified wood as heating fuel are also known to be efficient.

This type of fuel has been certified under EPA’s 2015 New Source Performance Standards which have been independently and extensively tested.

This fuel is meant to meet a particulate emission limit of nothing more than 4.5 grams an hour.

  • Electric Fireplace Inserts

Electric fireplace inserts are among the several types of fireplace heating systems available. These are among the most efficient ways to heat your home within shorter timeframes than other types such as wood.

These types of inserts need electricity to run. This means you’ll spend more on electricity.

No smoke is emitted, you save money, it requires low maintenance, has a longer lifespan plus it’s easy to install.

What more? Electric fireplace inserts come in a wide range of styles. You also benefit from its enhanced safety, plus, they can be used all year round.

Few of these products include the Dimplex Revillusion series.

  • Propane Fireplace Inserts

If you’re seeking fireplace inserts with high efficiencies, you might want to consider those in this category. This is because they have as much as a 90% efficiency rate and come in multiple varieties to choose from.

Type of Fireplace Inserts by Size

Size is a major factor to consider when choosing a reliable fireplace insert. Now, varied sizes are ranging from the smallest to very large inserts.

The type you choose will depend on your needs as well as the size of your fireplace.

In most cases, it’s best to seek expert advice from a technician before making a choice.

Selecting A Fireplace Insert For Heating Efficiency

To select a fireplace insert, you’ll need to be guided by certain factors.

These range from your most preferred fuel type, the look (that is, whether you want rustic, traditional, or modern designs), the size, installation as well as maintenance.

These are very crucial to choosing a fireplace insert that will effectively serve its purpose.

  • The Look

Sometimes, homeowners have a specific look they prefer.

If this defines you as a prospective buyer, it will be necessary to conduct online research. This is bound to bring up tons of useful results that will help go for what you need.

  • Size

Size plays a key role when buying a fireplace insert. To heat your home effectively, you’ll need to get just the right size.

To get the right insert size, consider measuring your fireplace. This includes its width, height, depth, front, and back. This way, you stand to get the perfect fit.

  • Installation

Ease of installation is also an important factor to consider. Thankfully, most of the newer fireplace inserts makes are increasingly becoming less complex to install.

  • Ease of Maintenance

Ease of maintenance should form part of your buying guide. The easier it is to maintain a fireplace insert the better for you as you’ll be spending less on such.

Get Some Advice

Apart from the information provided here, you may want to make additional inquiries from your chimney technician. These technicians are always on-ground and work on a variety of chimney systems including fireplace insert installations.

You might want to get their opinion or advice about the best heating fireplace inserts to settle for. That way, you’re well guided and informed in making the right choice.


We’ve been able to come up with some useful information on fireplace inserts that heat, in addition to providing you with a buying guide.

None can be said to be better than another as it all boils down to choice.

However, certain features are considered more efficient than others.

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