If there’s one thing that people don’t always realize when they’re looking for heating options for their home is that pellet stove inserts are actually high-tech cousins to wood burning devices. There’s circuit boards, thermostats, and fans that all work together to make these devices fuel efficient. And that’s why they’re often a great addition to any home.
Just because one of these devices is right for your home, however, doesn’t mean that you should run out and buy the first one available. They’re a pretty significant investment, and there are some pretty big differences between the best pellet stove inserts available and the lesser quality models. Let’s look at some of the best ones available right now.
Best Pellet Stove Inserts, Reviews
#10 Cleveland Iron Works
The Cleveland Iron Works fireplace is probably one of the most tech-savvy pellet fireplaces out there. With Smart Home Technology, you can control the heat throughout your home at the touch of your smartphone. You can fully control settings, temperatures, and turn your fireplace on and off easily with your phone. Along with technology advancements, this pellet fireplace has a 20 lb. hopper capacity and can heat up a room about 800 square feet so it’s more ideal for smaller homes. It’s incredibly durable and meant to stand the test of time, leaving you with the peace of mind knowing that your money is well-spent.
- Control it from smartphone
- EPA Certified
- Not ideal for large rooms
- Small hopper
#9 Comfortbilt Pellet Stove
The Comforbilt Pellet Stove features a large viewing area which is perfect for cozy nights by the fire. You will definitely stay warm with this fireplace as it puts out 50,000 BTUs of heat to about 2,800 square feet. With its powerful blower, you will quickly start to feel heat around your whole home within minutes. Using this fireplace is also a breeze with its auto ignition, ash pan for easy clean up and programmable thermostat. If you have any questions, you also get a 1-year parts warranty and technical assistance available for purchase as well.
- Very quiet
- Removable ash pan
- Very efficient
- Easy setup
- Large 55 lb. Hopper
- No repair or service manual included
#8 Summers Heat 50-SNC13I 1,500 Square Foot Insert
This product is not only made in the United States from high-quality materials, but it is also capable of producing plenty of heat for the home. It has a fully-line firebox that allows the pellets to get the air it needs to get for a long clean burn.
Another feature found on this product is a blower that helps to circulate the heat through the entire house. The front of this insert has a ceramic glass window in the front of its door that lets the homeowner watch the flames as it burns.
- Long, clean burning time
- Blower included
- Highly efficient
- Backplate difficulties
- Not as easy to assemble
#7 Englander Satin Black 2,000 Square Foot Insert
This pellet burning insert is designed to fit into any prefabricated fireplace, even zero clearance ones, and provide the kind of heat that warms a person’s bones in the winter. That just means that it can heat up to 2,000 square-feet of home. It does this by burning just under 1.5-grams of wood pellets per hour.
This unit holds approximately 45-pounds of pellets and burns this fuel at a nice steady rate that makes it one of the cleanest EPA-certified stove inserts currently available. Other features found on this product include a 3-inch pellet vent and a built-in 140 cubic-feet-per-minute variable speed blower.
- EPA certified
- Suitable for heating a larger home
- Designed to fit any fireplace
- Outside air kit included
- Some models have made squeaking noise
- Can be difficult to clean
#6 Magnum Classic Country Flame Black Insert
Although this insert is more expensive than many of the others on this list, it’s without a doubt one of the more beautiful and versatile models available. It has a beautiful black exterior that’s highlighted with gold accents.
This product is also not only capable of burning wood pellets but is also capable of burning a number of biomass fuels including corn or agri-fuel.
It’s approved for inserting into zero-clearance fireboxes, and it’s ready to be installed with a thermostat. This versatile insert can easily be used in a home, cabin, or mobile home and provide up to 40,000 BTU of heat.
- Stunning exterior design
- Flexibility for fuel
- Approved for zero-clearance fireboxes
- Accessories sold separately
- On the pricier side
#5 Breckwell P2000I Pellet Insert
This wood pellet insert has a lot of the features that a person would look for in one of these stoves. It has a 60-pound wood pellet hopper that provides enough fuel for cold winter nights and can produce up to 50,000 BTU an hour.
With that much heat being expended, that means that it can heat up to 2,000 square feet of a home, which allows it to fully heat small homes or provide supplemental heating for larger homes. It’s a matte black insert with a 3-inch flue exhaust pipe.
- Large hopper
- Suitable for larger homes
- Easy to Use
- Ash bin too smaller
#4 Summers Heat 55-SHPEPI Evolution
Manufactured out of high-quality steel in the U.S., this high-quality pellet stove insert is designed to provide up to 27-hours of consistent heat at a time. It has a large 45-pound hopper and doesn’t require any clearance when it’s placed into an old fireplace.
It’s also equipped with a stainless-steel ignitor that’s designed to hold up to years of use and can be activated quickly with the push of a button. This product doesn’t just offer one-touch ignition, however. It also offers homeowners a clean and efficient burning of fuel that will keep the home warm without costing a ton of money.
- Extremely long heat time
- No clearance required
- Stainless steel ignitor
- Easy installation
- Smaller hopper
#3 Timberwolf Economizer Fireplace Insert
When properly installed, this wood pellet stove insert can heat up to 2,000 square-feet quite easily for up to 30-hours at a time before it’s 45-pound hopper needs to be refilled. It’s an economical insert that delivers up to 38,250 BTUs of heat, which makes it approximately 76.3% efficient.
It’s cast iron door is equipped with a high-temperature ceramic glass that’s heat-resistant and provides the homeowner with a great view of the inside of the firebox. All of which makes this a product that’s capable of heating up just about any home and looks good while it’s doing it.
- Suitable for larger home
- Long burn time
- Clear ceramic glass display
- Smaller hopper
#2 Castle Pellet Stove Serenity Wood
This Castle Pellet Stove will change the way you heat your home with its unique smart controller. This Smart Controller allows you to choose manual, thermostat, and weekly operational modes to heat your home on your schedule. This feature is very unique when it comes to fireplaces and is incredibly handy as it allows you almost to be able to set it and forget it. If you want to manually control the fireplace, you can select one of five burn levels. This fireplace has a 69.8% thermal efficiency and can heat about a 1,500 square foot room.
- Smart Controller
- Easy to clean
- Small hopper
- Fans are louder than other models
- Blue backlight always on when fireplace is on
#1 Breckwell Blazer SP24I
Equipped with medium black flashing, a black cowl, and a beautiful matte black door, this product looks good in just about any home. More important than that however, this product is capable of producing more than enough heat needed.
It has a 60-pound pellet hopper that doesn’t have to be refilled as often as some other pellet stove inserts, and it provides up to 50,000 BTU of heat. It has an auto-ignition system that makes it easy to use, and it has 5 different heat operating ranges. It’s also thermostat-ready and is equipped with a key-pad control console for convenience
- Beautiful design
- Large hopper
- Powerful heat
- This unit is heavy, and you will need multiple people for installation
What is a Pellet Stove Insert and Why Should You Buy It?
A pellet stove insert is a legless pellet stove that burns compressed wood to create heat for not only residential spaces but also industrial ones.
Unlike free-standing models that stand on legs, a pellet stove insert is made to fit inside a fireplace opening. If you are looking for a low-operational cost, eco-friendly fireplace that can efficiently heat up your room, then a pellet stove insert is the one to go for.
What Should You Know about Pellet Stoves?
Throughout history, wood has always been used as a source for creating heat. Professional wood-fired ovens were even used in the early 20th century but in 1930, the Presto-Log was invented. It reused scrap sawdust for domestic heat and got quite popular back in the day. As time passed by, the miniaturized pellet stove was invented in the 1980s in Washington.
The 1973 oil crisis made people realize the importance of renewable sources of energy, which finally led to the creation of the first pellet stoves. There are two main types of pellet stoves – the free-standing ones and the fireplace inserts which are vented into chimneys. Most pellet stoves are made using steel or cast iron pieces along with stainless steel for efficient heat production.
Today, there is a huge demand for biomass stoves and combustible renewable sources for producing both domestic and industrial heat. Over the years, the design of the pellet stove has changed from a basic boxy one to the pellet stove inserts we see today.
What are the Differences Between a Pellet Stove and a Pellet Stove Insert?
Here are some ways in which pellet stove inserts are different from normal pellet stoves.
Form – Pellet Stove inserts are designed to fit into fireplaces, which is different from a pellet stove which comes with a pedestal or legs.
Installation – As a pellet stove insert is completely different in form than a pellet stove, their installation is quite different and depends on different factors.
Venting – Pellet stove inserts utilize a more flexible liner system when getting installed into a fireplace. When they are installed into a framed opening, it needs to use rigid venting. These liners connect to the back of the stove and go up the chimney. The rigid venting has to be routed through the roof.
Fuel System – Pellet stoves can either use electricity or a gravity-fed fuel system, but pellet inserts can only utilize electricity due to its height limitations.
What are the Benefits of a Pellet Stove Insert?
Better Control – Depending on the model you buy, you will be able to adjust the temperature more conveniently with remote control. Some of them can even be programmed to operate at a set time through your mobile. When the preset time comes, the stove will start and turn off automatically without you doing anything.
Better Efficiency – Pellet stove inserts are known for their high efficiency when it comes to heat production. Only 10 percent of the energy generated is lost, which makes it better than a classic wood burning stove or an open fire.
Effective Ash Removal – It comes with an ashtray that effectively removes ash when compared to wood burning models.
Less Work – You only have to manually fill the stove once or twice a day. Once it is done, it will last up to 12 hours easily.
More Affordable in the Long Run – Pellets are more affordable than other fuels with no spike in prices over the last few years. They usually come in bags of 40 lbs and can be stored pretty easily. One pellet stove can hold up to 1.5 to 2.5 bags of pellet at a time. The amount of fuel it consumes depends on the size of the room you want to heat up and the insulation.
Things to Know Before Buying a Pellet Stove Insert
Weekly Maintenance – Apart from mandatory yearly inspections by a professional, it is very important that you clean it at least once a week. The ignition chamber, in particular, has to be vacuumed once a week to ensure the longevity of the stove and maintain its efficiency.
Only Vertical Venting – A pellet stove insert is limited to only vertical venting, which can be a disadvantage at times.
Cost of Running – You need a 120-volt power supply to run the pellet stove insert.
Unnatural Flame – The flames created by a pellet stove insert don’t have the same look as a natural flame, which may put off some people.
Dry Storage for Pellets – Unlike gas, you need sufficient space to store your pellet bags. You also need to make sure that the storage area remains dry at all times. Otherwise, the pellets may swell or split open, making them unusable.
Before you decide to go off and buy a pellet stove insert, make sure you do your due diligence and plan appropriately.
The cost of a pellet stove insert installation can change depending on several factors like size and vent work required. On average, the cost ranges from $1000 to $2000, but it can go up to $4000 as well. If you require a new liner or if you need to have a power outlet fixed in your fireplace, the cost of installation may go up.
You might feel that installing it yourself is a more affordable option, but it would be wiser to let a professional handle it. Not only will it be safer, but it will also make sure that your stove will run for a longer time.
Commonly Asked Questions about Pellet Stove Inserts
How long will it last?
With good and regular maintenance, it can last up to 15 to 20 years.
What will be its running cost per month?
The cost will depend purely on your usage. A 40 lbs bag of pellets can last up to a full day, which may cost anywhere between $4 and $6. On top of that, you will also have to bear the electricity cost which will vary from one location to another.
What about Insurance?
These stoves can be seen as a major cause of fires, mostly during the winter. If you get one, make sure you talk to your homeowner and insurance agent to get an estimate on changes in policy rates.
How much energy will it save?
With a pellet stove insert, you will be able to reduce your heating costs by 10% to 40%. As it comes with an enclosed design, more heat is extracted at a lesser overall cost.