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Should you choose a fireplace insert or a freestanding stove?

freestanding stove Image - Royal Oak MI - FireSide Hearth & HomeIf you want to add a heating appliance to your home to increase your home’s efficiently and reduce your home-heating bills, you are left with one major decision: Should you choose a fireplace insert or a freestanding stove?

Fireplace insert

The decision to go with a fireplace insert can be both aesthetic and practical. If you already have an existing fireplace, adding an insert to increase your hearth’s efficiency and heating capacity can seem like a no-brainer. However, there are some considerations. A prefabricated fireplace shouldn’t be fitted with an insert. Doing so would void the warranty and serve as a fire hazard. An insert also might not be the best option if your existing fireplace is located at one end of your home. To effectively heat your home, your insert or heating stove should be centrally located within your home.

For many, fireplace inserts have an aesthetic appeal. Placed within a hearth, fireplace inserts offer the traditional look of a fireplace with increased efficiency and increased heat. While there is the lost potential for radiant heat from the covered sides of the fireplace insert, most inserts are designed to direct heat to the front face of the fireplace to maximize the heating potential.

Freestanding stove

Because a freestanding stove isn’t tied to your existing fireplace space, you have greater flexibility in determining where you will place your heating appliance. A freestanding stove can be placed in the center of a home’s living space. A freestanding stove centrally located on the lower level of a home can heat an entire home. Vent also can be added to the floors of rooms above the heating stove to help those rooms take advantage of the heat transfer.

If there is a drawback to freestanding stoves, it is that they do take up more room within the home because they aren’t sent into a wall. At the same time, a freestanding stove benefits from the large surface area of the heating appliances, radiating heat out from all sides of the stove. A freestanding stove can be placed on a hearth area to improve its aesthetic appeal.

Let FireSide Hearth & Home help you choose!

If you are trying to decide between a fireplace insert and a freestanding heating stove, the fireplace experts at FireSide Hearth & Home can help! We can talk to you about your vision for your heating appliance and about your home-heating goals, and steer you toward the appliances that fit the bill. We carry fireplace inserts and freestanding stoves in a variety of fuel types, sizes, styles and price points. We can help you find the right insert or stove for your home, and we’ll have it expertly installed and ready to heat your home this winter.

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Tired of hauling firewood? Consider a pellet stove

Your wood-burning stove or fireplace brings warmth, comfort and ambiance to your home, and saves you money on your home heating bills. But using wooden logs to help heat your home comes with many inconveniences. Either you spend months chopping, stacking and splitting firewood, or if you purchase your firewood, it can only be purchased a cord at a time. All of that firewood must be stored somewhere it’s protected from the elements.

When the wood-burning season sets in, your fire has to be constantly tended. You make trips back and forth from the garage, barn or woodpile to keep your fireplace properly fueled. Bringing firewood into your home can introduce bugs, mold or other pests. If you love the heating benefits of your fireplace, along with the ambiance of a burning fire but grow frustrated with the logistics of preparing, storing and hauling firewood, consider a pellet stove.


Save space with pellets

While firewood must be purchased by the cord, pellets come in 40 pound bags, which you can purchase from your local hardware store or many big-box retailers as needed. One ton of pellets, which provides the same amount of heat as a cord of wood, requires 80 cubic feet for storage. In contrast, the cord of firewood requires 128 cubic feet of storage. On average, a home with a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace burns three cords of hardwood or more than 5 cords of softwood each winter.

Maintain your fire less with pellets

With a wood stove, you build your fire and maintain it constantly, adding wood and shifting logs throughout the day so your fire is burning at its best. Pellet fires require much less fuss. One load of pellets will burn for 16 to 24 hours, so your fire will continue to heat your home while you’re at work, running errands or sleeping. You don’t have to constantly tend your fire, or worry about jumping embers when you open your fireplace door to add a log. Pellet stoves also require less cleaning. The pellets burn more cleanly, meaning you have less ash to clean from your stove, and less buildup to worry about in your stove’s chimney.

Burn greener with pellets

While EPA-certified wood-burning stoves and fireplace inserts are incredibly efficient, pellet stoves have them beat. Pellets contain very little moisture, which means they produce very little smoke and release very few particles into the environment. Pellets are also environmentally friendly in their construction. Wood itself is, of course, a renewable resource, and most pellets are made from wood byproducts, such as sawdust and shavings that otherwise would make its way into landfills. Other pellets are made from bio-sources, such as corn and wheat hulls. Pellets also are incredibly efficient at heating your home. With a wood stove, approximately 70 percent of the wood’s heat potential is released into your home, while approximately 83 percent of the wood’s heat potential is released into your home with pellets.

If you’re tired of the hassle of a wood-burning fireplace or stove but you enjoy the heat, talk to the experts at Fire Side Hearth & Home about a pellet stove today.