Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right fireplace or stove?
  1. Where will your fireplace or stove go?
    With today’s venting options, fireplaces, stoves, inserts and other hearth appliances can be installed almost anywhere in the home. Consider a fireplace for nontraditional locations, such as the kitchen, home office or master bedroom or bath. Even creating an outdoor living room by installing fireplaces on patios and decks is a very popular trend today.
  2. Do you have an existing fireplace or stove?
    If you have a unit that is inefficient or seldom used, converting to a new hearth product may be simple and surprisingly affordable. Gas logs or a fireplace insert may be just right for you.
  3. Are you building a new home or remodeling?
    You can add atmosphere and focus to your home by incorporating a hearth product early in the design stage. Talk to your architect or remodeler about stove and fireplace ideas.
  4. Do you want a fire for its aesthetic appearance or for its warmth?  Some hearth products are simply decorative, while others are extremely efficient and beautiful to watch at the same time. How much heat output would you like? Consult HPBA’s home heating buyers guide for more information.
  5. How much of your home do you want to heat?
    Once you decide whether to use your hearth as room, living zone, or entire house heat source your local hearth dealer can help you determine the right size appliance for your home.  Your retailers can also help you decide the best heating fuel factoring in your climate, floor plan and lifestyle.
  6. What fuels are accessible to you?
    Use the HPBA home heating calculator to determine your best options and savings based on your local fuel availability:  firewood, natural gas, propane, wood pellets, coal, oil or electricity.
  7. Are you concerned about having heat during power outages?
    One of the benefits of most hearth products is that they can operate during power outages, when you need the heat the most.
  8. Are there any other special considerations?
    Having a fire can be as simple as pushing a button on a gas stove or fireplace, or engaging as supplying your own wood, building and tending a fire. If someone in the house has allergies, that needs to be considered.
  9. What finished look do you want for your home?
    The hearth products industry offers many choices to consumers.
  10. How much do you want to spend?
    Price is always a consideration. Hearth product prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Fuel prices also are a factor to consider and vary by region.
Can I replace my existing fireplace with an insert?

Fireplace inserts are heating units that retrofit into an existing fireplace (masonry or factory-built). They burn wood, gas or wood pellets and offer superior efficiency. Fireplace inserts utilize the existing chimney, through a flue liner or other necessary modification, for venting. Vent-free fireplace inserts require no chimney or flue modification. Most have blowers to circulate the heat. Inserts are used to convert an existing fireplace into an efficient, heat producing zone heater.

How much will it cost to run my fireplace or stove?

Our fuel efficiency calculator can assist you in determining the cost saving benefits of the hearth product that you are considering purchasing, and the best fuel of an appliance.

If I’m shopping for a new fireplace, stove or insert, how do I know it’s safe?

All new certified fireplaces, stoves and inserts manufactured after January 1, 2015 will include a safety screen or barrier that must be installed. Rigorous testing will ensure these safety screens and barriers are effective in preventing serious, irreversible burns.

Can I shut the pilot off in the summer?

Yes, or you can safely leave it burning. The pilot helps keep the moisture from inside the firebox, which is caused by the humidity in the air. Keeping the pilot on will also extend the life of the thermopile and thermocouple and keeps insects out of the burner tubes.