Fireplace Insert Recommendations.

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Hoytman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2020
356
Ohio
Fireplace Inserts are not something I’ve spent much time researching about it reading forum threads about simply because I have no use for one.

A few days ago a friend asked me to keep an eye out for a good, used, wood insert for him. Naturally, if I am tasked with this job then I need to do some research. That’s where you guys come in.

Obviously, I want to help him find a well built, well liked, highly recommended and more efficient wood insert.

This guy is a cancer survivor, is on disability, is also a Vietnam Veteran and so has a limited budget. As such I feel I am tasked with taking my time and finding a quality, well made insert for a song...cheap as I can.

I do not have his fire place measurements yet, or the size and height of the chimney. His home is likely a 80’s/90’s brick ranch of about 1600 sq ft.

I know a BK insert would be awesome for him, but not sure if I will find one, so I need to know what other inserts you guys might recommend. I imagine they might be the same as some of the higher quality stoves, but I’m not sure if there things that I need to look for as far as fit, or if the the fireplace needs to be altered for fitting of the insert, or if fireplace damper needs modified. I’m going to have a heck of a time convincing him to install a liner in his big clay lined chimney. I’m a clay liner guy if it is sized right, but in this application he’s going to need a liner for best efficiency.

All help is greatly appreciated.

Any insert recommendations?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
An insert is going to need a proper liner and ranch houses often have chimneys on the shorter side, so look for inserts that breathe fairly easy. Regency, Pacific Energy and Drolet or Osburn are good brands for this.

What is the budget? Who is installing the liner and insert? Costco has a nice package deal on a Drolet insert and liner that might work here.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,642
central pa
Fireplace Inserts are not something I’ve spent much time researching about it reading forum threads about simply because I have no use for one.

A few days ago a friend asked me to keep an eye out for a good, used, wood insert for him. Naturally, if I am tasked with this job then I need to do some research. That’s where you guys come in.

Obviously, I want to help him find a well built, well liked, highly recommended and more efficient wood insert.

This guy is a cancer survivor, is on disability, is also a Vietnam Veteran and so has a limited budget. As such I feel I am tasked with taking my time and finding a quality, well made insert for a song...cheap as I can.

I do not have his fire place measurements yet, or the size and height of the chimney. His home is likely a 80’s/90’s brick ranch of about 1600 sq ft.

I know a BK insert would be awesome for him, but not sure if I will find one, so I need to know what other inserts you guys might recommend. I imagine they might be the same as some of the higher quality stoves, but I’m not sure if there things that I need to look for as far as fit, or if the the fireplace needs to be altered for fitting of the insert, or if fireplace damper needs modified. I’m going to have a heck of a time convincing him to install a liner in his big clay lined chimney. I’m a clay liner guy if it is sized right, but in this application he’s going to need a liner for best efficiency.

All help is greatly appreciated.

Any insert recommendations?
Begreens recommendations are spot on. But if you have any questions along the way we will be happy to help
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
As such I feel I am tasked with taking my time and finding a quality, well made insert for a song...cheap as I can.

As a word of caution, you're probably not going to be able to get anything safe for a song, even if the stove is free. The cost of paying someone else to run an insulated liner can easily exceed the price of a new stove. The liner itself isn't cheap. And a slammer install is going to give him performance problems and safety issues.

I'd probably try to tackle that first, and maybe get him talked around to a different form of heat if the liner isn't happening.
 

Hoytman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2020
356
Ohio
His budget is as cheap as possible and that isn’t as important as finding something he and his wife like. It’s one of those things where I help point in the right direction and they make the decisions. Just the way I want it to be.

They want safe, efficient, cheap as possible. Like I said, my only job is to help point them in the right direction. They are not forum people. I’m going to give them a couple names and numbers of local sweeps for install.
He has an adult son to help with everything else, so I all I plan to do is help locate an insert.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,761
South Puget Sound, WA
If there is a Costco in the area, that is a hard price to beat, but regardless of choice, steer away from old smoke dragons and insist on getting a full ss liner in the chimney.