Q&A Propane Insert for Heatilator

QandA Posted By QandA, Oct 5, 2001 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I currently have a heatalator fireplace which is not heat efficient at all. I have been looking for research on which of propane or airtight woodstove insert is more efficient. My husband wants the wood and I want the propane, can you give us your opinion of propane? Thank you.


    A propane insert does have many advantages over other fuels because gas heat is typically clean, easy to operate (remote controls even!), and can be tied into a room thermostat. Plus gas heat is a steady non-fluctuating source of heat, unless controlled by a thermostat. No wood to stack or bring in, and no chimney to sweep each year. And, a nice pleasing yellow flame is easier to obtain with propane vs. natural gas.

    However, gas models are not impervious to problems with the gas train. And, the price of propane is expected to rise again this season.

    Wood represents the best value/economics when it comes to dollars/per Btu's. And, there are few controls that can go wrong with a wood stove. Wood has more work (some call it exercise) involved, and little more mess (a natural mess). Wood can be obtained cheaply in many areas also vs. calling the propane company.

    Both are electricity-free so if the power goes out, the heat still flows.

    Some like the natural flame of a wood fire, and some can live with a gas flame. I've had both, and have enjoyed them both. This going to be an economic & aesthetic decision for the two of you to work out. Nowadays, there are great models available in both fuels. Visit some web sites. Then visit some shops. The decision will become more clear upon a little more research.

    Most of all, don't "cheap-charlie" your decision-----buy quality. And, pay attention to the venting. Consider lining your chimney to obtain the best performance. A little more front-end investment will go a long way on those cold, frigid nights.
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