Bay area fireplace owners enjoy watching fires burn and value the ability to closely monitor a fire’s progress. However, most fireplaces allow too much air to enter the chimney. This limits heat efficiency. With the help of a gas or wood insert, any fireplace in San Francisco can become more efficient and useful.

A wood-fueled insert is a compact enclosed unit that fits inside an existing fireplace. They all include glass doors so the fire is visible but self contained. Inserts are much more airtight than fireplaces. This significantly increases the heat output. Unlike pellet stoves and some kerosene heaters, they don’t require electricity to operate.

Open fireplaces only burn wood at a maximum efficiency of 15%, according to the California Energy Commission. If the damper remains open after a fire goes out, they also allow heat to escape the room. On the other hand, The New York Times reports that fireplace inserts offer an efficiency rate of approximately 65%.

Wood Inserts utilize space more efficiently than wood stoves as well. An insert doesn’t occupy any portion of the floor. Additionally, inserts eliminate the need for a second flue or a long stovepipe. In some ways, they are safer than traditional wood stoves. An insert is surrounded by bricks on three sides, which minimizes the risk of burns.

The homeowner or a contractor can install an insert and construct a small room around the fireplace. Inserts are not difficult to install or remove. However, a homeowner should not neglect to thoroughly clean the chimney beforehand.

In summary, wood inserts enable fireplace owners to gain more heat without sacrificing elegance or giving up floor space. This lowers the cost of heating a house, room or sauna.