A fireplace insert? Is that like a wood stove? Not exactly. It is like a stove, but modified specifically by the manufacturer to fit for insertion inside a masonry firebox (hence, insert.) Fireplace inserts are much more efficient than regular, open wood burning fireplaces and emit a fraction of the pollutants while warming your home.
There are two main parts to a fireplace insert, the actual firebox and its surrounding steel shell. This outer shell delivers heat created in the firebox directly to the room. This air “padding” area prevents heat from being wasted on heating the actual masonry structure itself so more heat is ejected into the room. Air freely flows between the firebox and the steel shell, allowing it to be warmed and blown into the room.Some larger inserts can heat one or two thousand square feet, like this Napoleon insert. Smaller inserts heat smaller areas of the home.
It is imperative that your insert be lined from top to bottom. Some older fireplace inserts were lined only partly, allowing smoke to meander up the chimney after a certain point. This makes for extremely expensive upkeep, seeing that the entire insert must be removed in order for it to be cleaned. You should have your insert installed and the chimney lined by a professional, or if you choose to do it yourself, be sure that ALL of your methods comply with local building and fire codes, or you may face some costly repairs.