For many people, there is nothing like the look, smell, and feel of a wood-burning fireplace. As technology improves, the choices continue to grow for the eager owner.
There are three main types of wood-burning fireplaces:
- Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are either constructed of masonry or factory-built.
- Clean-burning fireplaces (as their name suggests) provide the most efficient burning of wood to lessen creosote buildup and environmental emissions.
- EPA-certified fireplaces also produce less than 7.5 grams of particulates per hour.
Which is the best option? Since the fireplace will become the focal point in your home, balance cost of implementation and installation with the continuing cost of maintaining your fireplace through the years. Be certain to pick one of the three options that will be best for your expectations of performance.
If you require plenty of heat, either the clean-burning or EPA-certified fireplaces will be the most attractive. The newer options are closed-combustion systems requiring glass doors.
For those who prefer the more traditional fireplace, you may have to accept some heat loss as the price for the ambiance of crackling sounds and the appeal of a burning log.
The best zero clearance wood burning fireplace is flexible and can be easily installed almost anywhere. Apart from bringing warmth into your home, they are great in helping you save on your energy bills.
- What is a Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace?
- Top 7 Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplaces
- Vogelzang TR004 Colonial EPA Wood Stove
- Comfort Flame B36L-M Builder 36-Inch Wood Burning Fireplace
- Pleasant Hearth Large Wood Burning Stove
- Flame Monaco EPA ZC Fireplace with Black Louver Kit
- Drolet EPA-Certified 60,000 BTU Escape Fireplace Wood Insert
- EPI- 1402P Napoleon Wood Burning Insert
- Timberwolf Economizer EPA Wood Burning Fireplace Insert
- Guide for Buying the Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Zero Clearance Fireplace
What is a Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace?
Zero-Clearance fireplaces are pre-manufactured fireplaces where the firebox is placed against ignitable materials like walls, wood, or paneling.
The materials used in the construction of zero-clearance fireplaces prevents the outer side of the fireplace becoming hot enough to burn the surrounding elements. This makes them safe and can also fit in small spaces which allow homeowners and builders a plethora of placement places.
The installation is also much quicker and simple compared to a traditional fireplace. Considering that the best zero Clearance fireplaces fit in small areas and are easy to install makes them less expensive.
With recent technology advancement, zero clearance fireplaces have been proven to be efficient. Less energy is used, and more heat is produced. This is contrary to traditional fireplaces which leads to heat and energy wastage.
Zero-clearance fireplaces come in a variety of types, sizes, and styles. They are available in pellet burning, electric models, as well as wood burning. Regardless of the brand, each fireplace is designed with a unique venting system.
Well, today we shall focus on wood burning fireplaces, which are considered more economical. However, choosing the best zero-clearance wood burning fireplace is not a walk in the park. Since we understand how taxing it can be, we have reviewed the best products to make your shopping hassle-free.
Top 7 Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplaces
Vogelzang TR004 Colonial EPA Wood Stove
Vogelzang Colonial is an excellent zero clearance wood burning fireplace insert that will keep your home warm. The insert is designed to improve the efficiency of your fireplace without digging deeper into your pockets.
It features a heavy cast iron door for durability. The air washed ceramic glass gives you a magnificent view of the burning fire. The cool-touch wood handle offers a firm, comfortable grip to enable you to open and close the fireplace seamlessly.
Vogelzang is beautifully designed to accentuate your style and complement your home décor. Measuring 33.5 x 24.5 x 26.5 inches, the insert can easily fit in your existing hearth. The Vogelzang has met the necessary EPA provisions for Certified wood-burning appliances, hence making it safe to be used at home.
This fireplace insert can efficiently heat up to 1,800 sq. ft. If you have been looking for a reliable fireplace that will keep your house warm for long, then Vogelzang is your solution. It burns up to eight hours, making your home warm throughout the night.
- It’s a highly efficient model that can heat up to 1,800 sq. ft.
- It’s beautifully designed to give boost your home appearance
- It comes at a small size to fit comfortably in the existing hearth
- Easy to install and maintain
- Made of Patel steel to make it last for long
- The fan tends to be a bit noisy
- It doesn’t come with an ashtray
- The window glass gasket might fall apart
Comfort Flame B36L-M Builder 36-Inch Wood Burning Fireplace
Nothing would give you more comfort than a warm house. Keep your guests entertained this coming cold season by getting the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace.
The Builder by Comfort Flame offers you the warmth you want. As its name suggests, the Comfort Flame has, for decades, been producing quality and durable products and it no different with this wood burning fireplace.
With 22.5 x 40 x 38-inches measurements, the insert is sizeable to fit perfectly in your existing hearth. It does not require sophisticated skills to install it.
The Builder 36-inch is one of the aesthetically stunning, high-quality wood burning fireplaces in the market today. Buying this product guarantee you of getting a well-constructed, durable fireplace that you can install anywhere you want in your home.
It is an excellent heat circulating fireplace that comes with louver designs to give your house a classy look. The durable powder coat finish with full white refractory brick liner are some of the features that make this fireplace stand out among several counterparts in the market.
It uses an 8-in or Comfort flame wood burning chimney pipe and has a limited warranty of 25 years. It has a fan and a full screen.
However, the glass doors are sold separately. More so, you don’t have to struggle to install this fireplace because it comes with a manual guide.
- It comes with a manual guide
- Inexpensive and easy to install
- Constructed to last
- Beautifully constructed to give your home a classy face
- Properly ventilated
- The glass bi-fold are sold separately
- The door might break easily
- The fan is a bit noisy
Pleasant Hearth Large Wood Burning Stove
Have you been looking for a wood burning fireplace with a high heating capacity that eliminates long-term maintenance requirements?
If yes is your answer, then this stove by Pleasant Hearth is a viable solution. It comes in three sizes to help you choose the product that fits your home well. The very first thing you will love about this wood burning fireplace is its draft control that is strategically positioned above the door. Therefore, you won’t have to bend, making it easy and simple to control it.
Furthermore, it’s a highly effective stove with an efficiency rating of 85%. It will sure keep your house warm and help you sail through winter season smoothly.
More so, you can use it on your garden kitchen to keep your family and guests warm as they enjoy a meal in the patio. Its ability to maintain heat throughout the night is quite impressive. It lasts up to 10 hours to help you keep up with coldest of nights.
If it’s your first time to use the wood burning fireplace, you might struggle to get the air ratios right. But this stove is user-friendly and comes with a manual to help you navigate through every challenge. It, therefore, friendlier to both beginners and experienced people.
- High efficient rating of 85%
- It’s a user-friendly wood burning stove
- It has an impressive ability to maintain heat
- EPA certified
- It’s fitted with a ceramic glass window to give you a fantastic view
- The fan can be a bit noisy
- Not rust-resistant
- Some users claim that the firebox is too small
Flame Monaco EPA ZC Fireplace with Black Louver Kit
We cannot talk about the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace without mentioning Flame Monaco. It is an excellent fireplace that can be used for any location: be it indoor or outdoor. Its superior construction makes it heat exceptionally well to provide the necessary warmth on cold nights and during winter. It is designed with three options to distribute heat evenly in the house.
The fireplace is uniquely designed to hold fire for a long time throughout the night. If you have an oversized home, this product is your ideal solution. It has a heating capacity of 2,000 sq. ft., which is impressive to keep your large home warm. The face of Flame Monaco accepts a variety of finishing options, giving you a chance to choose what best fits your home.
It is fitted with a large glass to give you and your guest a magical view of the fire. The limited lifetime warranty is among the features that will provide you with peace of mind. Other great features include an adjustable handle for easy and simple control, blower, black louver kit, heat-activated 176 CFM blower, and 75,000/hr BTUs.
- Equipped with three unique heat distribution options
- Suitable to warm an oversized home
- Fitted with a self-cleaning glass system
- The large glass offers a magical view of the fire
- It has a limited lifetime warranty
- A little bit expensive
- The fan is a bit noisy but manageable
Drolet EPA-Certified 60,000 BTU Escape Fireplace Wood Insert
Today, getting a quality zero clearance fireplace is not only hard but also expensive. More so, you have to look for a reliable company to ensure you’re getting an item that fits your budget and meets your needs. Drolet is a reputable company that is known for high-tech, durable, and high-quality chimneys, stoves, and fireplaces. For this, be assured of getting a long-lasting product.
The Escape is constructed to provide heat in a 1,600 square feet area. It means your mid-sized home will be warmed during the night. You will also get the airwash ceramic glass that gives your home a classy look and allows you to maintain a clear view of the fire. More so, the fireplace boost of high-quality 130 CFM heat-activated, variable speed blower. The high-temperature secondary combustion offers 30% greater efficiency and cleaner emission. This ensures your house is not bloated with smoke. It has variable settings to allow you to set the heating capacity you want.
The Escape is uniquely designed and comes with a manual for simple guidance. If you’re a beginner, you can control this fireplace. If you notice any smoke, clean the inside. The door is cast iron for durability, the firebox is brick, and the stove is steel. It can accommodate a maximum log of 18-in.
- It comes with an extra-quiet blower with variable speed control
- It boasts of an optimal efficiency of 75%
- It features a glass air wash system for a great view of the fire and lower maintenance
- It’s an EPA approved high-efficiency fireplace
- The black metallic exterior is elegant and sleek
- The insert requires a venting pipe
- Firebox might be bigger
EPI- 1402P Napoleon Wood Burning Insert
Have you been wondering what to do with an inefficient masonry fireplace? Now relax because EPI-1402P Napoleon is here to solve your problem. It’s one of the best wood burning inserts by Napoleon. The fireplace has been around for decades with hundreds of thousand units sold across Canada and the USA. The quality construction, easy to operate, and efficiency makes it get considered as a high-end unit. It comes with a blower system fitted with rheostat control. However, the package comes without a door which is sold separately. This is because the door comes in various colors, so you are left to choose the color that best suit you.
The insert is robustly built to give your long years of service and satisfaction plus the beauty of a roaring fire with unrivaled efficiency. The Napoleon 1402 comes with two potent heat circulating 100 CMF blowers, plus surround and trim. The stylish arched cast iron door and an effective air wash keep the viewing glass clean for a precise view of the fire. Other great features include matching spring handles and a fully refractory lined firebox. The insert is easy to install.
- It’s a highly effective fireplace with incomparable efficiency
- The doors come with matching spring handles for easy operation
- It’s designed to last for long and give your satisfaction for decades
- It comes with a President’s limited lifetime warranty
- It has a large and classy viewing area
- Not ideal for individuals working on a low budget
- The door is sold separately
- the insert might be challenging to clean
Timberwolf Economizer EPA Wood Burning Fireplace Insert
You should never sacrifice ambience to get eco-friendly, efficient fireplace insert. With Timberwolf, Economizer, you can enjoy the atmosphere and the warmth of a wood fire without breaking your bank account or polluting the air. The distinctive style with black finish gives the unit a luxurious look that will accentuate your style and give your hearth a posh look. When it comes to numbers, the Timberwolf Economizer performs exemplary well. By this, we mean that the unit has an impressive heating capacity of 2,000 sq. ft. And can generate up to 65,000 BTUs. More so, the fireplace boast of 86% efficiency rating, making it one of the best zero clearance wood burning fireplaces in the market.
If its performance will not wow you, then its durability will definitely do. The unit comes with a sturdy full refractory lining and a cast door iron, to ensure it las for long. More so, it has a large ceramic glass viewing area to give you an epic view of the fire. You will also enjoy a limited lifetime warranty which means that the manufacturer believes in the quality of the unit. It’s EPA approved. The Timberwolf Economizer burn for approximately 8 hours, keeping your house warm throughout the night.
Other features include two blowers fitted with automatic thermodisc and speed control and flashing and trim
- Built to strike a balance between quality and affordability
- It has a limited lifetime warranty
- It is a non-catalytic fireplace insert
- It comes with a drawer unit
- Easy to install
- It does not have an ash drawer
- You’ll need to turn the blower manually
- It’s fairly fragile
Guide for Buying the Best Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplace
Using the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace offers many benefits which include:
The wood-burning fireplaces are lightweight units that are designed to allow flexibility. They can easily fit in your existing hearth effortlessly. More so, zero clearance fireplaces are easy to install, easy to maintain and to clean. All you need to do is to determine the chimney or venting location to fix your insert.
Zero clearance inserts come in high, mid, and decorative efficiency models. You will choose the size that best fits your family size and need. When it comes to efficiency, you cannot compare zero clearance fireplaces with conventional brick motors. A conventional motor loses a lot of heat- about 90%- up in the vent or the chimney. On the other hand, a zero clearance fireplace might lose about 30% of the weather, making it a great heat source in many homes.
The latest technology and intelligent engineering used in constructing zero clearance fireplaces minimizes cold and maximize heat using less fuel.
One of the most significant benefits of zero clearance fireplaces is their ability to save on construction cost. They help in the elimination of pricey masonry work and saves time. The typical installation and finishing are seamless and takes a few days. For people working on a tight budget, the installation of these inserts can be done in stages. You can start with a painted plaster finish, move to the next step and add a tile, a cultured stone or a brick.
Come in Different Fuel Types
Zero clearance fireplaces are available in natural gas, electric, wood burning, and propane. Propane or natural gas zero clearance fireplaces provide warmth and ambiance with ease and expediency. These type of inserts operate on a thermostat to deliver consistent heat when required.
The wood burning zero clearance fireplaces gives you the ambiance of a real fire, whereby wood is one of the most economical and readily available fuel. Even during the power outage, you’ll still have heat, light, and an excellent source for cooking.
When it comes to electric zero clearance fireplaces, they tend to be easy to install and provides you with ambiance, giving you tons of enjoyment throughout the year. An electric fireplace can be built-in or mounted on the wall. More so, it can be hardwired on plugged safely into an electrical outlet, depending on the type of the model.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Zero Clearance Fireplace
Zero Clearance Fireplaces comes in different designs. There are those with decorative surround while others are small in size. It’s always advisable to choose an insert that will fit in your existing fireplace. Some designs are too large while others will not accentuate your style or compliment your home décor.
If you want to buy the best unity, then consider the one with high heating efficiency. In our review above, you can find each fireplace comes with different heating efficiency. Each unit burns the wood differently.
You cannot buy a fireplace just to decorate your home or your patio kitchen. The primary purpose of an insert to ensure you’re getting enough warmth and your cold nights turned into comfortable and peaceful moments. Each model has a maximum heat output. Choose the one that will produce enough heat to keep your house warm.
The market is saturated with counterfeit products. And as you all know, a fireplace is a huge investment. You, therefore, get knee when selecting the fireplace not to end up getting scammed. When buying the best zero clearance wood burning fireplace, ensure it has a certificate stating how safe it is by not producing harmful emissions.
The best Zero clearance fireplaces come at different prices. The price is affected by factors like the model, combustion, the size, and the material used in making the fireplace. Generally, fireplaces made of heavy-duty material tend to be pricey. But if you want to add coziness to your home, then you should not worry about the price factors. However, there is always something for everyone. It’s possible to get a unit that will satisfy your needs without going bankrupt.
When it comes to selecting your dream zero clearance fireplace, follow the above guide and be assured of ending up with the right unit. We believe this review will make your process seamless and hassle-free. Choose any of the above products to enjoy the ambiance of real fire!