What’s the difference between a freestanding vs insert pellet heater? This is a question you may be pondering if you have a house with a built in fireplace and are looking to buy a pellet heater to put in the old fireplace. So, which one is best and are there any differences between insert and freestanding pellet heaters? It really comes down to the importance of space in your house, do you want to save space because you don’t have much, and the style or model of pellet heater you want. As with most thing it depends as each have their own pros and cons depending on your situation and below are some things to keep in mind when deciding.
|Freestanding Pellet Heater
|Insert Pellet Heater
|Takes up more floor space.
|Fits into existing fireplaces, space-saving.
|Easily accessible for service.
|More difficult to access.
|Approx 6Kw to 13Kw.
|Approx 6Kw to 13Kw.
|Variety in shapes and sizes.
|Limited designs and squarish to fit into fireplace.
|Generally cheaper; standard flue.
|More expensive; might need fireplace modifications.
|Stands out in a room.
|Integrates seamlessly with room.
Space-Saving Solution: Why You Should Consider an Insert Pellet Heater
If you’re looking for a space-saving heating solution and you have an old fireplace, an insert pellet heater is worth considering. By using the existing fireplace, you can enjoy the benefits of a pellet heater without having to sacrifice floor space. However, you need to make sure the pellet heater will fit in the fireplace, so measure the dimensions of the fireplace and compare them against the insert pellet heater you’re interested in. If the insert pellet heater is too large it may extend out too far, ruining the aesthetic of the room. The only solution here would be to renovate the fireplace so the insert pellet heater would fit. Just keep in mind that this will increase overall cost.
On the other hand, if the dimensions match up and the pellet heater is a good fit, then I think in addition to the obvious space saving benefits the pellet heater will probably fit and blend much better into the room it is in, as there won’t be a pellet heater sitting in a corner. Instead, it is tucked away nicely in your old fireplace and some people may even think it is a wood heater instead of a pellet heater.
The most obvious benefit of an insert pellet heater is it takes up less space. Inserts fit into your fireplace and take up less floor space than freestanding heaters and blend into the room better. However, remember to check the dimensions of the pellet heater you are thinking of buying to make sure it will fit into the existing fireplace. You may find that the pellet heater is a little too big, so triple check it will fit before making up your mind. If it’s too big it might stick out of the fireplace more than what you’d like or it may not even fit. Renovating the fireplace to fit the pellet heater could be a costly exercise.
Servicing Your Pellet Heater: Freestanding vs. Insert
Pellet heaters are a great way to stay warm but you need to keep them cleaned and serviced. Wood pellets burn clean but they still produce ash which slowly builds up inside the heater and flue. When it comes to servicing, freestanding pellet heaters have a clear advantage over inserts. Freestanding pellet heaters are typically much easier to service because they are not tucked away inside a fireplace like insert pellet heaters. With freestanding units, you have easy access to all the parts that need to be cleaned, inspected, or replaced, making maintenance a breeze.
On the other hand, insert pellet heaters can be more difficult to access and service due to their location, which is usually tucked away inside a fireplace. Some inserts are installed on wheels or rails that allow them to be slid out of the fireplace for easy access, but this can add more to the cost of installation. Having said that, pellet heaters are very reliable and you’ll most likely only be pulling it out of the fireplace once a year. But just keep in mind that insert pellet heaters aren’t as easy to access.
Which one is right for you really depends because you may have an old fireplace you can use to save space but don’t like the idea of limited access. If you are someone who enjoys cleaning and maintaining your pellet heater on your own (instead of paying someone to do it), then you may want to consider a freestanding unit over an insert. However, if you prefer the look of an insert pellet heater or have limited space in your home, then getting an insert may be better because space and appearance is something important to you.
Heat Output and Design: Choosing Between Freestanding and Insert
Heat output and design are other important factors to consider when comparing an insert with freestanding pellet heater. Both freestanding and insert pellet heaters offer similar heat output with the only difference being freestanding may offer small models that are a small maximum heat output. Pellet heaters, even big ones, can run on low around 3kw to high heat about 13kw. The only difference you may find is that freestanding units may have smaller heat output models, such as 3kw to 9kw, while insert may only have 3kw to 12kw. Other than maximum heat output, there is no difference in terms of the features, functions, or pellet consumption between the two types of heaters.
However, the design of the heater is where you can see a difference between the two. Insert pellet heaters are designed to fit into a fireplace, so they tend to be smaller and more squarish in shape. This means that the design possibilities of the insert pellet heater is limited, and they tend to look like a wood heater. On the other hand, freestanding pellet heaters come in a range of different shapes and sizes. This provides more variety when it comes to the design of the heater. If you’re someone who cares about the aesthetic appeal of your home and wants a pellet heater that complements your decor, then a freestanding heater may be a better option for you.
Cost Comparison: Installing Insert vs. Freestanding
When it comes to choosing between an insert and freestanding pellet heater, cost is an important factor to consider. Generally speaking, both types of pellet heaters are priced about the same. You will find a difference between pellet heater brands, such as Piazzetti pellet heaters which typically cost around double of Chinese pellet heaters, but a freestanding 12kw Palazzetti pellet heater will cost about the same as 12kw Palazzetti insert pellet heater. The main difference you will find is installation. Inserts typically cost more than freestanding to install the flue.
The reason for this is that insert pellet heaters may require modifications to make them fit into the existing fireplace. This could be because the fireplace is too small or the old chimney needs some modifications to run the pellet heater flue through. This means that you may need to factor in extra costs for installation, which could involve additional materials or labor. In some cases, more non-standard flue, such as flexi flue, may be required to vent the pellet heater up the existing chimney.
In comparison, freestanding units typically use standard pellet heater flue pipe and don’t need any special flexible flue like insert pellet heaters. The cheapest option is to vent the flue straight out the wall behind the pellet heater, which will save on installation costs, or if you can’t do this then just vent up through the roof, similar to a wood heater. Direct venting through the wall behind the pellet heater is generally not possible for insert heaters because there is often a stone or brick chimney that makes drilling a hole difficult or could possibly damage the chimney.
Ultimately, the cost difference between installing an insert versus a freestanding pellet heater will depend on the layout of your house and where your pellet heater is going to be installed (in a fireplace, on an external wall or in the middle of the house so it has to go vent through the roof). You may have to pay a little extra to have an insert installed when compared to a freestanding unit, but this cost may be offset by the space-saving benefits of the insert design.
Making the Decision: Insert or Freestanding Pellet Heater for Your Home?
So what should you get if you are looking to buy a pellet heater? If you have a fireplace and are prepared to pay a little bit more for installation and don’t mind a bit more hassle pulling the heater in and out to service it, then it makes sense to go with an insert heater. It will be out of the way, take up less space and blend nicely into the room it is in. However, at the end of the day there’s no difference in heat output or features between inserts and freestanding pellet heaters. So buy whatever you like, stay warm and be happy.
If you are in Tasmania and looking for some pellet heater options, but insert and freestanding, check out my post on the top 5 pellet heaters in Tasmania. If you live outside of Tasmania I also created a post about the best pellet heaters in Australia. Both of these articles cover a range of freestanding and insert pellet heaters along with a variety of brands.
What is the main difference between freestanding and insert pellet heaters?
The main difference between freestanding and insert pellet heaters is related to space and aesthetics. If space is a concern in your home, an insert pellet heater, which fits into an existing fireplace, may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you have more space and are concerned about the style of your heater, a freestanding model might be more suitable.
Why should I consider an insert pellet heater?
An insert pellet heater is an excellent choice if you’re looking to save space. Since it fits into your existing fireplace, it doesn’t take up floor space like a freestanding heater. However, be sure to measure your fireplace and the dimensions of the heater to ensure a proper fit. Keep in mind that if the heater is too large, you may have to renovate the fireplace to accommodate it, which will increase the overall cost.
What are the differences in servicing freestanding vs. insert pellet heaters?
Freestanding pellet heaters are typically easier to service than insert heaters because they are not tucked away inside a fireplace. With freestanding units, you have easy access to all the parts that need to be cleaned, inspected, or replaced. In contrast, insert pellet heaters can be more difficult to access due to their location inside a fireplace. Some inserts can be installed on wheels or rails to slide out of the fireplace for easier access, but this may add to the installation cost.
How do heat output and design differ between freestanding and insert pellet heaters?
Both freestanding and insert pellet heaters offer similar heat output. The main difference lies in the design and size. Insert pellet heaters are designed to fit into a fireplace and tend to be smaller and squarish in shape. Freestanding pellet heaters come in a range of shapes and sizes, offering more variety in design. If aesthetics is a key consideration for you, a freestanding heater may be a better option.
How does the cost of installing insert vs. freestanding pellet heaters compare?
The cost of the heaters themselves is typically about the same. However, the cost of installation can vary. Insert heaters may require modifications to fit into an existing fireplace, leading to additional costs for materials or labor. Freestanding units typically use standard pellet heater flue pipe and are cheaper to install because they don’t require any special flexible flue. The cheapest option is to vent the flue straight out the wall behind the pellet heater, which is generally not possible for insert heaters.
How do I decide between an insert or freestanding pellet heater for my home?
The decision depends on your specific needs and circumstances. If you have a fireplace and don’t mind paying a bit more for installation and servicing, an insert heater may be a good choice. It will take up less space and blend nicely into your room. If you don’t have a fireplace or prefer easier access for servicing, a freestanding unit might be the better option.