Both freestanding stoves and fireplace inserts will keep your home nice and warm and help you save money on your heating bills.
Here are some of the differences between a free-standing stove and an insert that will help you decide which one is best for you.
An Introduction to Fireplace Inserts
Inserts for fireplaces are basically stoves that are made to fit right into an existing masonry fireplace.
In fact, people who don't like how warm their current fireplace is often think about putting in a fireplace insert.
Fireplace inserts are much more efficient than traditional fireplaces.
But, just like regular fireplaces, they work best for heating one room at a time.
Inserts are put in the fireplace partly inside and partly outside. The wood is burned inside a thick metal shell.
They can be made of steel plate or cast iron, and they usually have glass doors so you can see the flames.
There are many different styles of fireplace inserts that can improve the look of your home or match the style of your existing fireplace.
You can also choose from different types of fuel, such as:
A blower motor is an extra feature that can be added to force heated air into the room and make it work better.
Some units also have a thermostat that can be changed and a remote control.
Pros of a Fireplace Insert
Saves space: Fireplace inserts are smaller than wood stoves, so they don't take up much room in the house.
Many people think they look better than wood stoves that stand on their own.
Installing a fireplace insert is easier because you can use the chimney that is already there to vent the smoke.
There's no need to build a new system for venting.
Cons of a Fireplace Insert
Less efficient: Inserts aren't as efficient as traditional wood stoves.
Not as much heat is made by them.
You might be able to heat part of the house, but probably not the whole house, unless it's very small.
Shoveling ashes: Fireplace inserts don't have ash pans, so you have to shovel the ashes out by hand.
For this, you need to let the fire cool down a bit.
The process can take a lot of time.
A Brief Look at Wood Stoves
Most wood stoves have a simple metal firebox where wood is burned to heat the room.
The best thing about these stoves that stand on their own is that you can put them almost anywhere in your house.
They come in many different shapes and sizes, so they can fit in any room.
Wood stoves are better than fireplace inserts for heating large rooms or a whole house.
Up to 1,000 square feet of space can be heated by a small wood stove.
A medium-sized wood stove can heat up to 2,000 square feet of living space.
A big wood stove can heat up to 3,000 square feet of space.
You can put a wood stove in your main living area, put one on each floor for zone heating, or put a bigger one in your basement to heat your whole house through the air vents.
In this case, a fan is put on top of the stove to move warm air into the vents and send the heat all over your home.
Even though wood stoves are great for your home and good for the environment, they still need a vent or chimney.
Pros of a Wood Stove
More efficient: Wood stoves burn wood more efficiently than fireplace inserts, so they produce more heat.
Larger capacities: Wood stoves can hold more wood than fireplace inserts, so you can use a large one to heat your whole house.
With a fireplace insert, this is hard or even impossible to do.
Ash pans: Many wood stoves come with pans that automatically collect ashes, making it much easier to get rid of them.
Cons of Wood Stoves
Wood stoves are big and bulky, so they take up a lot of space in any room.
Some people don't think they're very pretty, while others like their old-fashioned look.
Harder to install. To install a wood stove, you have to build a chimney or an exhaust system, which makes the project much more expensive.