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Stoves, Fireplaces and Inserts…Which do I need?

There are several types of appliances. These decorative heating units are generally classed and certified in three ways:

1. Freestanding Stoves

Freestanding Stoves are generally high efficiency fireboxes which stand on either a set of legs or a pedestal, and do not require any finishing around them. These units are generally available in matte black or various enamel colours and often have a choice of gold or nickel trim packages. Wood and Gas Stoves are usually available in three body types:

Steel Bodied Stoves,Cast Iron Stovesand Soapstone Stoves.

Each type of stove is suited to different placement and house constructions so working with a WETT Certified Advisor is the best way to ensure you are getting the right stove to suit your needs.

2. Zero Clearance Fireplaces

This style of fireplace is appropriate for someone that does not have an existing masonry fireplace (usually new constructions or newer homes) but would like to get that built in fireplace look. Zero clearance fireplaces are available in high efficiency or mid efficiency designs so that you can choose the amount of heat your fireplace will provide to your space. Manufacturers often make several models so that you can choose between a variety of heat output and decorative options. Some fireplace manufacturers also offer a choice between single sided fireplaces and double door and pier style fireplaces. Zero Clearance Fireplaces are usually distinguished by their Metal Chimneys and their bottom and top louvers for air circulation around the metal body, often blower assisted.

3. Fireplace Inserts

Inserts are used only in very specific applications where you have an existing masonry fireplace that you would like to improve the performance and appearance of. Inserts are usually high efficiency and come in many different looks. How do you know if you have a masonry fireplace? There are a few noticeable features: first, masonry fireplaces typically have brick or stone chimneys and are usually either open to the room or have a set of glass doors mounted on the face of the brick or stone body of the fireplace. There are exceptions to every rule though and the only way to know for sure is to have a WETT Certified Technician or Advisor come to your home and evaluate your current system.

The many changes to the way that wood heating systems are manufactured and sold offer more selection and better suited appliances to each individual. It also means that the proposition can be confusing if you haven’t gone through it before. A visit to a specialized hearth retailer is the best way to see what wood heating systems are out there and which one will best suit you and your home’s individual needs.

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