Wood stoves bring an air of warmth and nostalgia to your home. If you’re a buff for all things vintage, your home probably already has a fireplace and various antiques. The great thing about wood stove inserts is that they play into a vintage ambiance. At the same time, they have the same sleek and efficient functioning of modern technology. By the way, do you know about the best wood stove insert 2020?
The best wood stove inserts are high-functioning and versatile. However, they tend to be a bit expensive. Consequently, if you’re in the market for one, it’s better to make an informed decision regarding your purchase.
Are you wondering about the best wood stove insert in 2020? Luckily for you, we’ve reviewed 10 of the most efficient wood stove inserts in the market. Moreover, to help you learn more about wood stoves, we’ve compiled a comprehensive buying guide and answered all your questions in our FAQ portion.
Top 10 Best Wood Stove Insert Reviews in 2021
Firstly, let’s look at some of the top options for wood burning inserts out there. We recommend going over our buying guide below to make sure you know what you’re looking for. The buying guide details important information such as qualities to look for in the best fireplace inserts. However, if you already have an idea about what you want, go ahead and see our reviews:
1. Drolet HT2000 High-Efficiency Wood Stove
The overall aim of the company is to provide consumers with highly efficient heating appliances. They have a wide array of products, which work on various fuel options, including wood, pellets, biomass, and electricity.
The Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove is a high-quality firebrick stove that can be easily rated as the best wood stove insert. It heats up to 24,000 square feet, which allows you to keep extra warm in the winter months. Inside, the firebox measures around four cubic feet. You can easily insert logs up to 22 inches long into the stove.
Moreover, the stove is plated with 5.16 inches of stainless steel. The thick layer gives the stove more insulation and allows it to reach high temperatures more easily. This not only enhances the build quality of the stove, but it also increases its durability. Additionally, the BTU rating caters to seasoned cordwood in particular. Cordwood is cheap and more easily available than other types of logs and fuel burned in fireplace stoves.
If you’re interested in something easy to use, this stove may come in handy. This is because it has an adjustable cast-iron door and an easily accessible air control vent on top. Also, the ash is easy to discard with the dropbox ash pan. Simply open the vent, and the ash will fall into the pan. Consequently, you can operate the stove without difficulty.
2. Vogelzang TR004 Colonial EPA Wood Stove
Vogelzang is a subsidiary of United States Stoves, an American stove brand, in operation since 1870. Throughout the years, the company’s priority has transformed, focusing on creating clean, environmentally-friendly products.
They make many types of stoves, furnaces, and heaters. The Vogelzang TR004 is one of their wood-based stoves. In their product range, other options include gas, coal, and pellet-fueled stoves. However, Vogelzang TR004 is undoubtedly one of its top products.
It’s a good product for medium-sized homes as it can heat up to 1800 square feet. Moreover, the ceramic glass window is 16.5 inches by 9 inches, making it easy to look inside and monitor the fire. Unlike older stoves, you don’t have to worry about creaks and loose screws with the Vogelzang TR004. The stove is reinforced with 3.16-inch thick steel and firebrick lining for added stability.
As mentioned, the company emphasizes its clean and environmentally sustainable products. Therefore, Vogelzang TR004 is designed to maximize fuel efficiency. You can burn a fire for approximately eight hours on a single fueling.
Moreover, the BPU rating is 69,900, making the wood-burning stove insert even more efficient. If you’re worried about the safety rating, the product is EPA-certified and meets low-emission regulations with an average output of 4.02 grams of ash per hour.
Since the stove dimensions are about 33.5 by 24.5 by 26.5 inches, you can easily place the insert inside a medium-sized fireplace. In essence, this is one of the best wood stove inserts for environment-conscious people.
3. Guide Gear Wood Stove Insert Best for Winter
Guide Gear is a private brand label of Sportsman’s Guide, an outdoor equipment company. Founded in 1981, the company headquarters are located in Burnsville, Minnesota. Apart from Guide Gear, their other brand labels include Bolderton, Castle Creek, and HQ Issue.
The company manufactures equipment and apparel for camping, hunting, fishing, and shooting sports. The Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove is a versatile outdoor wood burning stove insert.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find the Guide Gear Wood Stove ideal for camping and outdoor family gatherings. You can use the stove to not only stay warm in the cold but also to cook anything from eggs and bacon to coffee and tea.
The stove is easily portable since the legs are detachable. Don’t worry about assembly, though. It’s very easy to put together if you read the comprehensive user manual. Moreover, the stove is made of galvanized steel, which protects it in the open. You don’t have to worry about rust or other external damage. Also, steel makes the stove highly heat-resistant.
Overall, the Guide Gear stove insert dimensions are 12.5 by 19 by 7.75 inches. As for the weight, the pipe, legs, and firebox approximately weigh 47 pounds. This is relatively lightweight for a wood stove insert, adding to its ease of portability.
4. Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove
Another US-based brand, Ohuhu, sells a variety of products, including things for arts and crafts, outdoors and sports (including camping and hiking), and health and personal care. The Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove is from their outdoors and sports category.
The build quality is designed to balance portability and sturdiness. Consequently, the construction is robust stainless steel, ideal for outdoor situations. The Ohuhu Camping Stove heats up at a steady pace of 10 to 15 minutes.
Since the stove has three arms at the base, you get a sturdier foundation even on uneven terrain. You can even fix the footing with the three-arm pot support, so your pots don’t move in a windy climate. As mentioned, the camping wood stove insert is easy to transport. Consequently, it’s very lightweight at 14.7 ounces.
You can fold each component (as everything’s collapsible). The folded dimensions are 5.3 by 5.3 by 3 inches, which is very small and easy to store. The best part about the Ohuhu Camping Stove is that it can be fueled with anything you find on a campground. For example, you can use leaves, dried twigs, and even pinecones if the wood isn’t readily available. Also, if you have alcohol on hand, that can act as a fueling agent.
5. Classic Flame 36EB220-GRT Electric Fireplace Insert
Located in Delray Beach, Florida, Classic Flame manufactures some of the most high-tech electric fireplaces and fireplace stove inserts. All their products come with the Classic Flame patented Safe Sensor, which tracks the temperature of the plug to prevent fires.
The Classic Flame 36EB220-GRT is a built-in electric fireplace insert. It has an 8,900 BTU heater, which gives you around 800 square feet of zone heating. Therefore, it’s great for small, compact spaces.
Since the insert is electric, it doesn’t emit smoke, making it safer to use in small areas. Also, the fireplace insert comes with versatile remote control and thermostat, allowing you to easily adjust the room temperature. You can choose from a temperature range of 60°F to 90°F.
Moreover, the electric flame can be cold, warm, or hot, depending on your preference. If you like having the cozy ambiance of a burning fire year-round, you can easily have that with the Classic Flame 36EB220-GRT. You can even change the brightness setting of the flame.
For your convenience, the fireplace insert also has a temperature readout, available in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. You can change it according to your comfort. There’s even a timer, which turns off the insert automatically. You can set it from anywhere between 30 minutes to 9 hours. The product dimensions are 36 by 7.6 by 24 inches, which is great from large fireplaces.
6. PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert
PuraFlame is a Canadian brand with various outlets across the US. Like the Classic Flame, it specializes in electric fireplaces. They sell all kinds of fireplace stoves from wall-mounted to freestanding to a mix of both.
The stove is about 35.04 inches in length, 8.78 inches in width, and 26.99 inches in height. Since its electric, the fireplace stove insert doesn’t require wood or other fueling agents. The PuraFlame LED technology gives the stove high energy efficiency.
In essence, you get the perks of a fire without the hassle of an actual fire. All you need to do is use the remote control to adjust the temperature. The temperature can range from 60 °F to 84 °F, which is ideal for spaces as large as 400 square feet.
There are three flame intensity and brightness settings you can choose from. The brightness settings make the flame look more realistic, giving you a warm and comfortable atmosphere. You can wall-mount this fireplace insert, or you can recess it inside a cabinet. It’s entirely up to you since the PuraFlame Fireplace Insert is easy to assemble and disassemble.
7. Napoleon Timberwolf Economizer Fireplace Insert
In operation since 1981, Napoleon is a Canadian home comfort brand with its headquarters in Barrie, Ontario. The brand makes high-quality fireplaces from gas-based ones to electric ones. The Napoleon Timberwolf Economizer is a non-catalytic fireplace insert that utilizes wood.
The opening measures to about 25.78 inches in width, 22 inches in height, and 14 inches in depth. Moreover, the flashing dimensions are 43.58 inches in width and 31.38 inches in height. This is relatively large for a fireplace insert, allowing it to heat a space as big as 2000 square feet.
Also, the Napoleon Timberwolf Economizer comes with 2-55 CFM blowers (which is included in the measurements) and a six-inch flue diameter. This gives you enhanced air circulation within the air vent, allowing the insert to burn the wood more effectively (and, therefore, avoid the buildup of smoke).
Additionally, the fireplace insert has a top vent, which allows you to control the fire easily. There’s also a built-in fan system to keep you cool during the summer months. Consequently, the product is usable throughout the year.
8. Drolet Escape Fireplace Wood Insert
Another Drolet fireplace wood inserts, the Drolet Escape 1400 Trio Wood Insert, is an easy-to-assemble and high-performance product. It comes with a high-tech air wash system, a stainless steel faceplate, and a complete 25-foot liner kit.
On the whole, it has a metallic black finish, giving it a smooth and minimalist look. Therefore, it can blend in with any interior design your living room may have. Moreover, the steel plate has a shiny, nickel finish. It’s about 29 by 44 inches in size, coming with a 6 by 25 inches steel liner and insert-connector.
The package also includes a chimney cap for easier release of smoke and ash. The maximum size logs you can insert is approximately 18 inches. You can fit about 20 inches, but the manufacturer recommends capping it at 18 to not to overflow the firebox. Lastly, this Drolet fireplace insert is very easy to clean. You simply need to push the ash-dispose button, and it’ll automatically empty the ash pan.
9. Pleasant Hearth Large Wood Burning Stove
Like other brands in this list, Pleasant Hearth is part of a larger company called GHP Group. The GHP Group is based in Niles, Illinois, and has been manufacturing high-efficiency wood-burning fireplaces for over 100 years.
Pleasant Hearth is their range of fireplace doors, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and gas logs. Their best wood stove insert, the Pleasant Hearth Large Wood Burning Stove has a BTU rating of about 77,000, meaning it can heat areas larger than 2200 square feet. The overall dimensions are 29 by 30 by 38.8 inches.
With its ceramic, glass window, you have a large and up-close view of the fire. Moreover, the package includes a PBAR-2427 speed blower, so you get a full fire going in less than 10 minutes. This is a good product for beginners because it comes with a comprehensive instructional DVD video and a step-by-step illustrated user guide. Through these, you’ll have no problem with installation and assembly.
Additionally, the wood-burning stove insert comes with an ash drawer to make it easy to scoop out and clean the tray. The door is easy to open with the long steel handle. You can easily keep at a distance while tending to the fire and inserting firewood. Also, there’s a push and pull draft button, which allows you to control the heat output as well as the burn time.
10. Napoleon Fireplaces EPI-1402 Wood Burning Fireplace Insert
Last but not least, this is the second Napoleon Fireplaces item on this list. The Napoleon Fireplaces EPI-1402 Wood Burning Fireplace Insert is EPA-certified and is about 21.5 inches in height, 25.5 inches in width, and 25.5 inches in depth.
This wood stove insert is very stylish with its luxurious black exterior, matching any decor you may have. It’s both high-performance and elegant, coming with two 100 CFM speed blowers for quicker fires.
It has a cast iron door and clean, glass window so you can keep an eye on the fire with a safety buffer. Moreover, the economical six-inch flue makes installation both cheap and efficient. It has an advanced air circulation system with a non-catalytic design. Consequently, you don’t need to install a catalytic combustor, which usually just disintegrates over time.
You have a single lever fire control system, which controls the air inside the firebox (and the intensity of the fire). Therefore, it’s very easy to start and maintain the temperature within the firebox while having low emissions and combustion rates. Overall, the fireplace stove has a 70,000 BTU rate, which provides a smoke-free burn.
Wood-Burning Fireplace Insert 2020 Buying Guide
Now, let’s get to our buying guide. You should always consult buying guides before deciding on a purchase as big as a wood stove insert. Most wood stove inserts, at least the good quality ones, cost a pretty penny. Therefore, it’s always smarter to know what to look for so you don’t make a mistake. Here’s everything you need to know about wood-burning stove inserts.
What Is the Best Wood Stove Insert?
Are you wondering about what is a wood stove insert, and how is it different from other types of stoves? Well, a wood stove insert is used in place of a fireplace to heat a home during winter. For those who have fireplaces that are no longer functional, a wood stove insert is a good solution.
As the name suggests, wood stove inserts are fueled by wood. However, sometimes they can also be fueled by alcohol and biomass. Moreover, most wood stove inserts come with a firebox and a draft system to keep the fire going.
Reasons to Get a Wood Stove Insert
Why would people choose to get a wood stove insert rather than a gas or biomass one? Wood stove inserts present a lot of benefits, including:
- They’re more efficient and environmentally-friendly. Modern wood stoves are designed to maximize efficiency, burning less wood in more time. Consequently, it’s environmentally better to get a wood stove insert.
- Wood stoves are more practical. If you’re going outdoors, it’s easy to pack up and take a wood stove with you. As you’ve seen in this list, there are many wood stoves specifically designed for camping.
- They can easily fit them in your home. If you have a pre-existing fireplace, all you need is to get a wood stove with similar measurements. They won’t take up more space, unlike electric/gas heaters.
However, keep in mind, they have some cons as well. For example, you have to constantly clean the ashtray to keep the fire going smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll get higher emissions and smoke buildup in the air vent.
Best Wood Stove Insert Features
Now, what features determine the best wood stove inserts? When looking for wood stove inserts, check for the following:
As mentioned, you want constant air-flow within the firebox. Otherwise, your stove will become less efficient and build up smoke, which has many health risks. Consequently, look for a fireplace insert with a good air-flow system.
Most good quality air-flow systems are adjustable, meaning you can control the level of the draft inside the firebox. In this way, you can also control the fire temperature and heat intensity.
2. Type of Vent
Most stove inserts have indirect vents, which are harder to use. You want a direct venting system, which allows you to directly adjust the air vent and release smoke. This is a safety feature, so make it a priority.
Moreover, ventilation also depends on the structure you’re installing the stove into. If it’s an old fireplace, ensure that the chimney is clean and has a sufficient air-flow. Additionally, if the room is small, there needs to be windows or drafts to keep a steady flow of oxygen.
3. Build Quality
You don’t want a flimsy and cheap wood stove. Get a stove made with steel or cast iron, which are strong, stable, and long-lasting metals. They’re also perfect for withstanding heat for long periods.
Consequently, prioritize pure metals such as these as opposed to hybrids and glass. Either way, avoid touching the door or structure unless completely cool. Most wood stoves are constructed with insulated materials, but it’s still dangerous to go near the metal.
As mentioned, some people like to stoves outdoors. If you’re interested in camping wood stove inserts, make sure they’re lightweight and easy to transport. While wall-mounted wood stove inserts can weigh up to 50-60 pounds, portable outdoor wood inserts should weigh around 20.
Secondly, it’s better to get a stove that’s easy to assemble and disassemble. It’ll take time away from your outdoor vacation if you get one with lots of parts and instructions. Get one with fewer parts to cut your assembling time in half.
How Much Do Wood Stove Inserts Cost?
Usually, wood stove inserts cost anywhere between $100 to $2000. The best wood stove inserts aren’t necessarily expensive. You have to focus on the quality of the product as well as the features it has. Many brands have cheaper versions of high-end wood stove inserts.
The high-end ones usually cost at least $4000. If you have the budget for high-end inserts, go ahead and purchase it. These have a long-lasting life and are very robust. However, if you get something expensive, make sure you get a warranty with it. Some manufacturers offer up to a 10-year warranty plan. Consequently, ensure that you’ve compared warranty plans before deciding on the best one.
Are Wood Stove Inserts Bad for My Health?
If your wood stove insert burns wood efficiently without lots of smoke, the answer is no. Luckily, most modern wood stove inserts are fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly, meaning they burn wood completely. Smoke only comes out when the wood isn’t burnt properly.
However, if your wood stove insert emits a lot of smoke, the answer is yes. Smoke includes lots of harmful toxins and gases. For instance, inefficient wood-burning produces Creosote, which is a chemical residue left by smoke when wood gases aren’t completely burnt. If you consistently inhale a lot of it, you’re likely to develop:
- Heart conditions such as angina and congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Immune system disorders, including deficiencies
- Types of cancer, including that of lung, mouth, throat, and larynx
On the other hand, short-term health risks include:
- Allergic reactions
- Difficulty in breathing
- Infections like pneumonia
Consequently, if your wood stove releases lots of smoke, get rid of it.
Can I Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning for Wood Stove Inserts?
Again, the answer is yes. However, this depends on a few factors. Firstly, if your wood stove insert isn’t fitted properly, it’s likely to leak carbon monoxide into your home. The first step of buying a good quality wood stove insert is to get it properly fitted.
Secondly, to avoid CO poisoning, ensure that the room is properly ventilated. Carbon monoxide is produced when there’s limited air in the room. This happens more commonly in smaller-sized rooms with fewer windows.
Most fireplaces are properly ventilated, so this isn’t a concern for everyone. However, for people living in smaller homes, in particular, it’s vital to have an open and unfaltering supply of air.
Do Wood Stove Inserts Cause Cancer?
As mentioned, highly efficient and the best wood stove insert doesn’t cause any disease, including cancer. However, there are some health risks with inefficient/older wood stove inserts. Cancer is one of them.
Although, you probably won’t get cancer (or any other long-term side effect of smoke) unless you’ve been living with an inadequate wood stove for a long period. Research shows that while the risk is there, with proper precautions, it’s easily avoidable.
What if the Fireplace Insert is Left on Overnight?
Well, leaving any heating appliance on overnight is a fire hazard. This goes for electric/gas heaters and stoves. If you’re trying to stay warm throughout the night, you can turn it on or off in intervals.
Alternatively, you can warm the house for a while and then turn it off. Make sure to close all windows, drafts, and doors, or else the heat will escape. Leaving the fireplace insert on overnight may also cause carbon monoxide poisoning (as mentioned above).
How Do I Use My Fireplace Insert Safely?
If there are so many risks, how does one use a wood-burning fireplace insert safely? Well, there are many tips you can follow. First and foremost, make sure your wood stove insert is EPA-certified. If it’s EPA-certified, it follows the national regulations for low emissions and safety. Consequently, it’s safer and more efficient to use.
Secondly, it doesn’t hurt to buy your wood stove insert from the best stove brands as the products are more reliable. As mentioned, this list mentions some of the best brands out there. Moreover, you can also:
- Ensure the air flute is open while the stove is on (as this allows more efficient burning)
- Use dry wood/kindling/newspaper to start your fire. Also, only use seasoned wood.
- Avoid treated or stained wood.
- Avoid gasoline, kerosene and other flammable substances
- Ensure the fire is bright and orange
- Empty the ash pan regularly (don’t let it accumulate)
- Keep the stove door closed at all times
- Let the fire completely die down and cool before touching the stove door
Do Wood-burning Stove Inserts Need Electricity?
No, they don’t. Generally, stoves don’t need electricity if they run from biomass, wood, or gas. However, some biomass stoves produce electricity, which makes them great for outdoor activities such as camping.
While there are electric stove inserts, wood-burning stove inserts don’t need electricity at all. You just need all-natural fueling agents such as twigs, sticks, leaves, and even newspapers.
How Do I Measure a Fireplace Insert?
As mentioned, an ill-fitting fireplace insert is very dangerous as it can as a carbon monoxide leak. Therefore, before purchasing a stove insert, you must check your fireplace size to ensure you’re getting the right one. To measure the size you need, simply follow these steps:
- Take a measuring tape
- Measure the outer height, width, and depth (meaning the top to bottom measurements)
- Then measure the internal height, depth, and width (meaning the rear measurements)
Note: fireplace inserts will always be placed inside existing wood-burning fireplaces unless it’s an outdoor stove insert. Outdoor stove inserts are fixable anywhere.
How to Install a Fireplace Insert?
This isn’t a difficult process if you’ve done your measurements correctly. We recommend having a professional help you as the process usually involves adjusting electrical wiring and gas lines. In essence, here’s what you need to do:
- If the bricks are uneven inside your fireplace, use a grinder to even them out. Moreover, if any bricks are blocking the way, break them down with a hammer.
- Call an electrician to remove/adjust electrical wiring from the wall. However, if your fireplace insert is electric, your electrician will need to add an electrical outlet.
- Make sure the gas line in the fireplace is shut off. If you can, have a professional remove the line completely.
- Cut out the chimney damper with an acetylene torch.
- Once you’ve made the space, use a chimney liner to measure the size of the stove.
- Place the fireplace insert inside and connect it to the electrical outlet (if needed).
- Make sure to cover the chimney top with a chimney cap and secure the fireplace insert with a screw panel.
For more details, consult your user manual and a professional. Also, as a word of precaution, don’t touch electrical outlets and gas lines yourself. Always call a professional for the job.
What is a Chimney Liner?
Chimney liners are clay or ceramic substances that line a chimney. They protect the chimney walls from deteriorating from the constant heat and smoke that erupts.
For wood stove inserts, chimney liners are important to make sure the surrounding wall stays secure. Also, they help mark the exact place you need to install the fireplace insert.
What is a BTU Rating?
BTU stands for British Thermal Rating. This rating tells you how much heat your heating appliance is capable of giving off. For wood stove inserts, the BTU rating tells you how much wood is burned per hour and how much heat is released for every gram of wood.
Higher BTU ratings are better for larger homes as these require more power to heat up. However, smaller homeowners should prioritize lower BTU ratings.
How to Clean My Fireplace Insert?
Most fireplace inserts are self-cleaning. They have an ash discard box, which just needs to be emptied frequently. However, if you’re interested in deep cleaning, follow these steps:
- Make sure the fireplace insert is completely cool
- Open the door and empty the firebox. This includes removing all tools, wood, and leftover ash/debris.
- Scrub the inside of the firebox using a wire brush. If there’s Creosote stuck anywhere, make sure to remove it.
- Mix dishwashing soap with baking soda and water. Use this mixture to wipe away excess blackness and dirt. This will take some effort.
- Dry the inside with a clean rag.
- Finally, spray window cleaner on the glass door and wipe it away.
What Do I Do if My Wood Stove Insert Isn’t Working?
If your wood stove insert doesn’t work, there’s a problem with either quality control or the way you’re using the product. Either way, you can call the customer support of the brand to get help. Also, always check whether your wood stove is in warranty. If you need something replaced, this will make sure you don’t have to pay for it.
In essence, the best wood burning fireplace inserts are robust and fuel-efficient. All the items on this list will not disappoint as they come highly recommended and are some of the most popular products on the market.
If you’re looking for the best wood stove insert, any of the above makes sense based on your needs. However, make sure you’ve thought about the measurements and placement of the wood stove insert beforehand. This will help you figure out which wood stove insert is the best choice for you.