Do you need to make a purchase but want to know more about wood-burning fireplace inserts? You’ll find all of such details right here.

Open fireplaces were common before the advent of fireplace inserts.

These had several disadvantages including incurring a high monthly expense on wood fuels. With open fireplaces, the efficiency levels were nothing to write home about.

SEE: Best Wood-Burning Stoves

Efficiency levels range from 25% to 30%.

In a bid to significantly improve efficiency levels, innovations were made which ushered in wood-burning fireplace inserts.

These are closed-combustion fireplaces that jumped efficiency levels from 10% – 20% to about 75% to 85%. More improvements continue to be made to this day with newer designs and build among other things.

Selection Parameters

Before you settle for a fireplace insert, you’ll need to consider vital parameters such as efficiency and environmental impact. Ease of use is another key parameter to consider.

However, these factors will be handier when comparing wood-burning fireplace inserts alongside gas or electric inserts.

Here, we’re focusing on wood-burning fireplace inserts. It’s still necessary to consider how wood fireplace inserts fares in terms of efficiency, environmental impact as well as ease of use.

  • Efficiency

When compared to open-hearth fireplaces, the efficiency gap is quite significant. As pointed out earlier, the traditional open hearth fireplaces usually have efficiency levels between 10% and 20%.

Comparing that to wood-burning inserts, efficiency levels jump to as much as 75% to 85%.

It is clear that in terms of efficiency, wood-burning fireplace inserts easily outperform open-hearth fireplaces.

Another good thing is that your existing fireplace gets remodeled by having the insert installed within the open firebox. Of course, your existing chimney can still be used or remodeled slightly.

  • Environmental Impact

Wood-burning fireplace inserts produce a far lesser amount of smoke emissions compared to open-hearth fireplaces. In other words, they burn much cleaner due to new designs and modifications made towards achieving just that.

However, the same cannot be said when comparing wood-burning fireplace inserts and gas fireplace inserts. Gas fireplace inserts tend to be among the cleanest combustion sources.

Unlike wood fireplace inserts, gas inserts produce no particulate emissions or smoke.

  • Ease of Use

Ease of use is one major advantage with wood-burning fireplace inserts.

Despite the work you have to do such as stacking wood in preparation for making a fire and also clearing or removing cinders and ash, there tends to be more work with open-hearth fireplaces than there is with wood burning fireplace inserts.

Are Wood Fireplace Inserts Among the Best?


Different insert types include wood-burning inserts, gas inserts as well as electric inserts. Each of these has its advantages. However, there’s no ultimate best as people have their preferences.

Despite the many differences between wood-burning fireplace inserts and other types, it remains among the best.

Benefits of Installing a Wood Burning Fireplace Insert

As expected, there are several benefits attached to using wood-burning fireplace inserts. Such benefits range from the prevention of cold drafts, as well as increasing your home’s value.

Other benefits include being ideal for the modification of an existing fireplace and also helping to hide an unused masonry fireplace.

One of the most obvious advantages is the ability to significantly improve combustion efficiency. Here, heat is no longer lost as is common with open-hearth fireplaces.

You also spend much less on monthly fuel (wood) costs.

Best Wood Burning Fireplace Insert Reviews

If you wish to be more strategic in your fireplace insert pick, consider purchasing these from any of the brands listed below.

Some of the top brands include Timberwolf Economizer Fireplace Insert, Magnum Classic Black Country Flame, and Napoleon EPI-1402P Insert.

Other top brands include Napoleon 1402 Insert with Blower, Drolet Escape Fireplace Insert, and Stove Builder International CW2900 Insert.

There are other quality products like the Flame XTD 1.5-I Woodburning Insert, the Napoleon EPI3C Oakdale Series, and the Comfort Flame B36L-M Insert.

Each of these wood-burning inserts has its unique features.

More than anything else, they give you value for money. Let’s have a brief look at each of them for more understanding of what to go for.

  • Timberwolf Economizer Fireplace Insert

If your open-hearth fireplace has an opening or allowance of about 25 -7/8 inches, then Timberwolf Economizer Insert will fit perfectly in.

It’s designed to emit or produce around 65,000 BTUs of heat energy.

Apart from its surround flashing, this heating device comes with a set of unique blowers for the promotion of efficient circulation.

Crucial to the use of this product is its ease of installation and maintenance.

  • Magnum Classic Black Country Flame

This type of wood-burning fireplace insert is designed for wide applicability. In other words, different biomass fuels apart from wood pellets can be burned with it.

There aren’t too many with such provisions. It’s ideal for zero clearance boxes and can easily be ignited using an electric lighter.

  • Napoleon EPI-1402P Insert

If you seek to purchase a fireplace insert that meets your basic needs, this brand offers much more than that. It’s designed to produce over 70,000 BTU of heat.

In terms of size, the Napoleon EPI-1402P insert measures around 23 inches high and 44 inches wide.

  • Napoleon 1402 Insert with Blower

This wood-burning fireplace insert type comes preinstalled with a blower. Provision is made for wide viewing angles which is available through its window.

The two blowers that come with it help with heat circulation.

  • Drolet Escape Fireplace Insert

With a BTU heat-generating capacity of 60,000, Drolet Escape Fireplace insert evenly distributes the heat produced through its fan. A single unit can heat a space of about 1,600 square feet.

It comes with the needed protection that that also helps with even heat distribution.

  • Stove Builder International CW2900 Insert

If your home measures between 500 to 2,000 square feet in size, Stove Builder International CW2900 Insert will serve just fine for your needs.

It comes in an attractive design and size that will easily fit most home interiors.

Wood-burning fireplace inserts are great additions to your open-hearth fireplaces. You can consult your chimney technician on what will best serve your need.

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