Monday, July 14, 2014

Local dealers see spark of interest in inserts

February 20. 2013 2:43AM
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You'll probably never say you're going to curl up by the fireplace insert.

But enjoying a wood fire – or one with gas, pellets or coal – burning in a fireplace insert will warm the hearth better than ever, some local dealers say.

The main reason for a wood-burning insert is they enjoy burning wood, but they want to get more heat out of their fireplace, said Gary Woody Woods, owner of Woody's Fireplace Inc. in Larksville and Honesdale, one of a number of local dealers who sell the inserts. If they don't burn wood but want it to give heat, they're looking at coal-burning or pellet.

He noted fireplaces without inserts evacuate an amount of air equal to all of the air in a house every 90 minutes. The inserts, for which the flue is restricted, more efficiently move smoke up the chimney while room-air-circulating fans heat the home better.

He said some customers favor coal- or pellet-burning inserts. Those inserts automatically feed themselves, and coal is less expensive, Woods said.

Wood burning – it's a hobby, he joked, pointing out the woodcutting and hauling involved. It's like having another child.

A fair number of customers buy gas inserts, which are operated by push button and fit flush inside the fireplace, Woods said.

Coal and pellet do hang out a little bit, he said.

Gary Magdon, owner of Country Fireplace Showroom in Dupont, said he sells mostly coal and gas inserts.

That's actually what they're going for more, he said, adding, This area, coal is a better seller.

Magdon said installing the inserts involves running a liner up the chimney to make it more efficient.

It typically makes your chimney system more efficient, said Lindee Brobst, an employee of DeLeur's Back to Basics in Dallas.

She said the store sells wood-burning, pellet, gas and coal inserts.

Different fuels will have different types of installations, Brobst said, adding, though, that it typically takes half a day to put in the insert.

We always clean and inspect the chimney before (we install an insert), she said.

Woods said inserts have been around a long time, but efficiencies and designs have improved dramatically in the past 10 years.

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