A wood stove insert is a high quality wood burning stove designed to insert into an existing fireplace and chimney. A wood stove insert is really a solid fuel room heater and requires careful positioning within a chimney. This should be done only by a certified installation professional. This type of stove is used simply for heating, and not as a cook stove for cooking food.
The primary reason for installing a wood stove insert rather than a stand alone stove is to utilize an existing fireplace, however there are additional benefits. A stove insert which is installed into an existing brick or stone fireplace will certainly be more efficient than a stand alone unit located within the room. This is due to the insulating qualities of the fireplace materials, assuming the fireplace is an original feature of the building. Remember increased heat efficiency means lower running costs for heating your home.
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There are a number of requirements for installing a wood stove insert, most importantly the chimney. It is simply impossible without one. There are different types of chimney, for example sound masonry chimneys or Stainless Steel Class “A” insulated chimneys which tend to be used in new installations. Where a fireplace insert is being installed we can assume the property has an existing masonry chimney, but this does not automatically mean a safe and successful stove insert installation. There can be many problems installing into an old chimney, for example the chimney may need to be lined, it may be over sized or too small, or it may not be insulated. This highlights the need for careful preparation and planning before committing to a new wood stove insert, and the best advice would be to contact a professional and have your chimney checked fully before spending any money.
Lastly keep in mind even if you have a usable chimney you also need the correct floor protection beneath your wood stove insert. If the fireplace has been empty, redesigned or used for display purposes this may not be the case. There are a limited number of approved materials for this purpose, including concrete slabs, pre fabricated Approved Stove Boards, ceramic tiles or stone, but again consult a professional to be sure your fireplace itself meets the necessary standards.