If you have a drafty old fireplace that you never use and are interested in getting a pellet stove, you should check out an insert instead. A pellet stove insert operates the same way a freestanding stove does but its designed to be installed into your existing fireplace.
Which Is Cheaper a Pellet Stove Insert or A Freestanding Pellet Stove?
Stove manufacturers usually make and insert version of their freestanding models. While the pellet stove insert itself may cost a little there are several other things to consider when doing a cost comparison between the two.
|“Accentra” Freestanding Pellet Stove||“Accentra” Pellet Stove Insert|
The first consideration is the installation fees. Freestanding stoves have to be vented out through a wall or a roof where as an insert uses a liner that is installed in your chimney flue. The installation fee is typically less for an insert because the installation is not as involved and takes less time.
The second thing to consider is the venting materials. The rigid vent that is used for a freestanding stove is more likely to cost more than the liner used on a pellet stove insert. The length and specifics of the venting configuration will determine how much more.
The last consideration would be a hearth pad. On a freestanding stove you have to install adequate noncombustible floor protection beneath the stove. For most people this means they will have to purchase a hearth pad. Depending on the size and style of the pad they can cost you anywhere from under $100 to over $500. A pellet stove insert does not require a pad because its being installed into to a masonry fireplace.
What Size Pellet Stove Insert is Right for Me?
There are two things to consider concerning the size of the stove. The stoves heating capacity and the minimum required dimensions of your fireplace. Getting a stove that Is going to put out the heat you need it to is crucial. Why spend the money and go through the trouble of installing an insert if you’re still going to be cold? Your fireplace opening also will determine what size inserts you can fit. Depending on the dimensions of your fireplace you may or may not be limited in your insert size options.
Should I Buy the Biggest Pellet Stove Insert I can Fit?
When it comes to pellet stoves and inserts bigger is not always better. Let’s say you are trying to heat an area of roughly 1500 ft² if you purchase an insert capable of heating 2500 ft² you’ll end up having to run the stove on a low setting. While running on low sometimes is fine, a pellet stove insert will run more efficiently and require less cleaning if on a medium or higher setting. That is why it’s important to get the correct size insert for your needs.
You also have to make sure that you can adequately move the heat around your house. This is usually not a problem because an insert is installed into your fireplace and most homes fireplaces tend to be centrally located.
How Do I Measure for A Pellet Stove Insert?While it’s a good idea to get your measurements before you start shopping you should always have a professional come out and double check everything before you make a purchase. Please use our fireplace dimension sheet to get your measurements. In addition to the opening of the fireplace you also want to pay attention to the clearances required to combustibles like your fireplace mantle.
There are some very easy to use apps you can download to help you calculate how much heat you will need. You don’t want to go solely on the square footage because there are a lot of other factors that will calculate into the heat load of your home. The amount of doors and windows, exterior walls and how well your home is insulated can all make a big difference in the heat load.
Which Brand Pellet Stove Insert is the Best?
While there is no “best brand” there are certain brands that are more problematic than others. If you take the time to read some online reviews you will know what to expect when you are comparing different brands. As far as reviews go just remember that most of the time someone is leaving a review they are unhappy about something. Typically if a product performs as it should a customer wont take the time to go online and let others know.