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Fireplace Insert Vs Wood Stove: What’s The Difference?

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Everyone loves having a fire going when it’s cold outside, as it just makes your home feel even more cozy and welcoming. But with the wide variety of options on the market today, finding a fireplace that suits your needs can be challenging. So, what is a fireplace insert, and how doe it differ from a wood stove? 

Fireplace inserts are self-contained units that are installed into an existing fireplace. They are available in gas-burning, wood-burning, or electric options. Wood stoves are stand-alone units that are installed slightly away from the wall. These are usually only available in wood-burning options. 

What are the benefits of fireplace inserts and wood stoves? Are there any cons you should know about these two fireplace options before you make your decision? Let us find out!

Fireplace Insert Vs Wood Stove

Suppose you are looking to install something to help keep your home warm during cold, rainy nights, and you want something to create a lovely relaxing, and sometimes romantic environment in your home. In that case, a fireplace insert or a wood stove are excellent options to choose from. What are the differences between a fireplace insert and a wood stove, and what are their benefits? 

What Is A Fireplace Insert?

A fireplace insert is a self-contained unit installed into an existing fireplace that already has existing exterior venting built into the home. As these units are inserted into an existing fireplace, they are smaller than regular fireplaces.

Fireplace inserts generally have a glass viewing port on the front to make it easier to see if they need more wood if you go for a wood-burning model. Like many other fireplace options, fireplace inserts are available in different fuel options, including gas burning fireplace insert, wood-burning insert, and electric fireplace inserts. 

What Is A Wood Stove?

A Wood stove is a stand-alone unit often built slightly away from the wall, and it is not placed in an existing fireplace. They are made from a solid metal closed firebox. This is usually lined with fire brick and has one or more air controls generally manually operated. 

Wood stoves are centuries old; they were used two centuries before the industrial revolution, so you know they are good at their job as they are still used today. However, wood stoves are only available in models that burn wood, with no other fuel alternatives. 

The Benefits Of Wood Stoves 

Wood stoves have been used for many years, and they have been a good option for homeowners as they have many benefits when installed in a home. 

The benefits of a wood stove range from helping the homeowner reduce monthly household spending, especially in winter, to helping to make the home feel more welcoming and relaxing. Let us take a look at these benefits of having a wood stove in your home. 

Reduces Home Heating Costs

Having a wood stove in your house can help you save money on heating bills in the winter. Wood stoves are so efficient at converting wood into heat that they can heat more than just one room of your home when they are in use. 

Wood stoves are more effective at this than traditional fireplaces are. Wood stoves have a 70 % efficiency rate, whereas fireplaces have between 20% and 25% efficiency. This means that wood stoves convert 70% of the wood organic matter into heat, and fireplaces only convert 20-25 %. 

Wood Stoves Offer A Relaxing Environment

Wood stoves offer a lovely relaxing atmosphere in their room; they can sometimes even be included in a romantic evening. You can position your chairs and sofas, along with other furniture, sound your wood stove. 

During the evenings, you can light the wood stove and watch the bright orange flames dance inside it, with a crackle permeating the air every once in a while, while you sip your drink and read a book or chat with your loved ones. If that is not a picture of a relaxing environment, nothing is. 

Easier To Maintain Than Fireplace Inserts

Wood stoves are a lot easier to maintain than fireplace inserts. Wood stoves generally come with a built-in ash pan that is easy to use and reach. Ash pans automatically collet the ash created by the fire, making it easier to dump the ash later when you are done with the wood stove. 

This makes a wood stove extremely easy to clean, and you can clean out the ash pan as the fire goes if you need to create space for more wood. Wood stoves also have a ventilation pipe rather than a flue, which is easier to clean and maintain. 

Wood Stoves Have A Larger Capacity

Wooden stoves have a larger capacity than fireplace inserts, which means the wood stove can keep your home warmer for longer, with little effort from you. You will only need to fill your wood stove once to get hours of warmth. 

This means you can just sit and relax next to your wood stove fire and sip on a glass of wine in peace, without needing to check on the fire and add more wood, or worse yet, have to go and chop more wood for the fire. 

Cons Of Wood Stoves

Although there are some excellent benefits to choosing a wood stove, they also have some cons that you should know before deciding. There are only two main cons to know about with a wood stove, and these cons may seem minor disadvantages to most people, but they should still be considered nonetheless.

These cons can cause some problems down the line if not taken into consideration. So, let us take a look at the con of choosing a wood stove for your home. 

Wood Stoves Are Big

Wood stoves are known for being big and bulky, and they will take up a large amount of space in the room you want to place them in. Some people will not have the space the wood stove requires in their homes.

There are a few people who put a wood stove in any way, even if they do not have the space. This will change the room’s appearance drastically as the wood stove has a rustic look to it. This look may be appealing to some people, but it can also turn some people away if you wish to sell your home in the future. 

Wood Stoves Are Difficult To Install

The other major con of wood stoves is that they can be rather challenging to install in your home, and this installation of a wood stove can come with some hidden costs, too, if you are not careful. Installing a wood stove means you need to construct some kind of exhaust or chimney system in the room you want the wood stove to be in. 

You can use an existing chimney if you have one; otherwise, one needs to be built, which can significantly increase the installation price. 

As wood stoves are big and bulky, getting them to the room you want them installed in can be challenging. The wood stove can also cause damage to your floors as you move it through your house to the room you want it in as it is extremely heavy. 

The Benefits Of Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace inserts have also been around for a long time, and they have been a good option for homeowners to use to heat their house with as they have many benefits when installed in a home. 

The benefits of having a fireplace insert range from helping the homeowner reduce monthly household spending to helping make the home feel more relaxing and welcoming to family and friends. So, let us have a look at the benefits of having a fireplace insert in your home. 

Reduce Home Heating Costs 

Having a fireplace insert in your home can help reduce the heating costs for your home, especially in the colder months, as you do not need to use central heating as much. 

This is especially effective if you have your fireplace insert in the room you use most in your home, as fireplace inserts will struggle to heat more than one room. Even though these are not as effective as a wood stove, you will still definitely use your central heating less with a fireplace insert. 

Fireplace Inserts Offer A Relaxing Environment

Fireplace inserts also create a lovely and relaxing environment in your home when it is in use. You can build a roaring fire that twinkles orange light throughout the room, with crackles coming from the wood occasionally. 

This is a great room environment for a romantic evening for you and your partner, or it can be a lovely relaxing evening in, with just you, a cup of tea, and a good book, and the dancing flames to keep you company. Relaxing by a crackling fire is a dream come true for many people, and it can be done with a fireplace insert. 

Fireplace Inserts Can Increase The Houses Value

With the relaxing environment and the cost-cutting that can come from owning a fireplace insert, it is no wonder they are becoming popular. This popularity of the fireplace insert means that if you have one, it can help increase the value of your home. 

If you install a fireplace insert in your home, this has been shown to increase the value of your home anywhere from $1000 all the way to $4, 999 deepening on which fireplace insert you get, which is a big deal to most homeowners who are looking to sell their homes one day. 

Cons Of Fireplace Inserts

Even though there are some excellent benefits to choosing a Fireplace Insert for your home, these products also have a few cons that you should be aware of before you decide to get one for your home. 

There are only two main cons you should know about with a Fireplace insert, and these cons may seem minor to most people, but they should still be considered anyway as these cons can cause some problems down the line if not taken into consideration. So, let us take a look at the con of choosing a Fireplace Insert for your home. 

Fireplace Inserts Are Less Efficient

Fireplace inserts are, unfortunately, less efficient than most of the other options you have on the market today, like the traditional wood stoves. Although fireplace inserts warm the room nicely, they do not get hot or produce as much heat as other options. 

With your fireplace insert, you are generally only able to heat one room of your home, whereas, with a wood stove, for example, you can heat almost your entire home with it. So, if you want a fireplace insert, ensure it is in the room you spend the most time in, or it will not make a difference in your home. 

Fireplace Inserts Create Ash That Needs Cleaning

Fireplace inserts create ash as they still burn wood, but they are more difficult to clean than a wood stove. Fireplace inserts do not have built-in ash pans to make the cleaning of the ash easier. 

With fireplace inserts, you will need to shovel out the ash with a fireplace shovel or even by hand. This can be a messy task and can cause ash to travel around your home if you do not shovel the ash carefully. 

This cleaning process can also be time-consuming, and it can only be done when the fireplace has cooled down, which means you cannot just get the job over with when you are done with the fireplace for the night. 

Which Is Best: Fireplace Insert Or Wood Stove? 

Both wood stoves and fireplace inserts offer unique benefits to your home; they both have some disadvantages as well. Before deciding which one you want, you need to consider all the information about both of these options to ensure you make the right choice for your home.

Ultimately the decision of which one to get it up to you and what you think is acceptable from a fireplace and what you are not willing to “let slide,” so to speak. However, both of the fireplaces are excellent options for your home, and you will not be disappointed no matter which fireplace you decide to go for. 


Both fireplace inserts and wood stoves are a lovely addition to any home, as they offer warmth and relaxation. Depending on the option you choose to install in your home, they have some unique benefits, but they are always a welcomed treat.

Next, you can learn if it is better to do laundry at night, or how to fold your clothes fast and neatly.

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