It might be time to update that aging fireplace, Sudbury, and give your wallet a break. Old wood burning appliances can be very energy inefficient, wasting your fuel and money. But before you head out to the showroom, think about what exactly you want to invest in.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
There are four main options for you to consider if you’re in need of an update:
1. A gas fireplace insert is convenient and low maintenance.
No stockpiling wood, no sweeping ashes, no tending the fire, remote control!
2. Pellet insert are more work, but only a small amount.
Fuel is fed to the fire through an automatic hopper, making it less work than a wood log fueled fireplace. Very environmentally friendly and can also be controlled by a remote.
3. Wood burning insert
The same amount of work as a masonry fireplace, but with better energy efficiency!
4. A new factory built fireplace.
You can completely replace your existing masonry fireplace if it is in poor shape, or if you no longer appreciate its appearance.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN INSERT?
If you choose option one, two, or three above to replace your existing fireplace (as most people do), you’re choosing an insert. An insert is installed directly into the existing fireplace opening and can transform the heating efficiency of the entire house. By forcing warm air into the room using strategically placed fans and vents, inserts minimize the amount of heat lost up the chimney, or absorbed by the masonry.
It has been found that when temperatures reach below zero outside, as they commonly do in Sudbury, a fireplace will actually send more heat out of the room than in! The large ceramic window of an insert prevents air from going into the fire box and up the chimney while still providing you with an excellent view of the fire.
A great aesthetic benefit of an insert is the ability to blend seamlessly with the existing design of the room. If you’re happy with the design you already have, great- we can give you something similar! If you’re interested in changing the look, that is possible too! Inserts come in many sizes and designs, giving you plenty of freedom.
The only drawback of an insert is that your viewing area will, naturally, be slightly decreased.
CHOOSING A NEW FACTORY BUILT FIREPLACE
Factory-built fireplaces are often made of metal and use a combination of insulated walls, glass doors, air-cooled pipes and blowers to circulate heat. This option requires a complete removal of your existing masonry.
There are three main reasons why a homeowner might opt for this option:
- If the masonry on your existing fireplace is in very bad shape
- If you want to dramatically change the look of a room
- If you can’t part with the large view area of your current fireplace (as an insert will slightly minimize it)
As striking as the options can be, there is a trade-off: option for a complete replacement makes the scope of your update much larger. You will pay more than if updating with an insert, your update will take longer to install, and you will often require new venting as well. In addition, you might need to take out a building permit to have it installed- so prior to starting a job, check with your building authority.
Whatever you choose to do, we can help you with your fireplace. Sudbury has trusted us for more than 30 years. Stop by or call and see why.