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Convenience and Efficiency of Pellet-burning Fireplace Inserts

mcgregor ia pellet fireplace insert installYou may have heard of using pellets as fuel for a fireplace.  It’s a unique and great technology that comes with many benefits to the homeowner.  Pellet-burning fireplaces typically are made as inserts – pre-built, ready-to-run units that are inserted into the opening of a current pre-fabricated fireplace.

Advantages to pellet fireplace inserts and why they gain popularity.

Easy to install

Pellet-burning fireplaces are used in conjunction with a new metal chimney liner that feeds up inside the current chimney.  The metal firebox comes in exact sizes to ensure that you purchase the correct one for your original fireplace.  There are no complicated hookups or contraptions to deal with as the fireplace runs in many ways just like a traditional wood-burning unit.  (It is recommended, however, to have a professional do the installation.)

Easy to operate

Like with wood logs, pellets burn to create fire and heat.  The difference is, pellets are clean, easy to haul and store, and simple to load into a hopper connected to the insert.  The hopper is then set to add a specified amount of pellets to the fire at certain time intervals.  This means no sweeping up wood shavings and chunks and no wood debris all over your clothes.

Temperature control

It’s simple to keep a steady temperature with a pellet-burning fireplace.  Manual or automatic controls allow you to determine both the intensity of the heat and the amount of pellets in the firebox at any given time.  Most pellet inserts are idea for heating between 1,000 and 2,500 square feet.

Renewable energy source

Pellets are made from farm or forest waste products, which means we’re not depleting the land or harming the environment in creating them.  For many, this environmental-friendliness is reason enough to heat with pellets.

Cleaner, more efficient burns

Pellets create less creosote than burning wood and therefore add less of this flammable substance to the chimney liner.  Additionally, pound for pound, pellets emit more heat than traditional firewood.  Their efficiency rating is as high as 85 percent, with wood topping out at about 77 percent.  You’ll definitely notice the difference.

Less attention needed

Because of the way pellets are made and with the controlled-feed hopper, a pellet fireplace insert can create heat for several days with just a single full load of pellets.  Compare this to the constant tending required by a log fire.

There are drawbacks in some people’s minds to operating a pellet-burning insert.  Pellets will cost more than traditional firewood (but less than natural gas), and electricity is needed to run the hopper.  Additionally, pellets often come in bags weighing as much as 40 pounds, so you have a little lifting to do.

fireplace insert remodel in merrimack wiBy talking with your local fireplace retailer, you can get all the details necessary to determine if the many benefit of pellet-burning inserts outweigh the few disadvantages.  So do some shopping so you can make a smart choice.

If a pellet insert sounds like the way you want to go, Chimney Specialists of Highland, Wis., is here to help.  We’ll show you available models from top manufacturers and answer all your questions about buying, owning and operating a new pellet-burning fireplace insert.  Visit us at 869 Main St. in Highland, or reach us by phone at (608) 929-4887.

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