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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Different Types of Heating Appliances

If you have ever lived in the Northern regions of the United States, you know that having an appliance to heat your home is a necessity. Here in northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region especially, temperatures can get well below zero, and living without heat can be hazardous. There are a large number of heating appliances available to homeowners, so it’s important to know the difference between the types. Some heating appliances are better at being a primary heat source than others, while others are better for heating small rooms or being supplementary heating sources. The type of fuel you want to use can also play a large role in the appliance that works best for you. At Old Smokey’s we want to make sure that you pick the right type of heating element for your home. That’s why we want to share with you our guide on the differences in heating appliances that we offer.

Gas Fireplaces, Logs, Inserts & Stoves - Fort Wayne, IN - Old Smokey's

Fuel Type

Choosing the type of fuel that you want to use is a good first step to choosing the type of appliance you’ll want to get. There are three main types that heating appliances use: wood, gas, or pellets. Each one of these fuel types has its advantages depending on your situation.

Wood – Most people enjoy using wood as a fuel because of the aesthetic value that it adds to a home. There is no other fuel type that creates a warm glow, the natural aroma, and soft crackling sounds that a wood fire creates. Also, if you live close to a woodland or don’t mind gathering your own wood, you can heat your home for very cheap. Another benefit of having a wood-burning appliance is that you can use it “off the grid”. Unlike gas or pellet appliances, your fuel source doesn’t need gas lines or electricity to work. If you live in a location prone to winter power outages, wood-burning appliances won’t leave you stuck in the cold.

Gas – Gas is preferred by homeowners who want the ease of use in a heating appliance. Using wood fuel is a lot of work if you are chopping, stacking, and hauling it. Then there is the added work of building and starting a fire. Gas appliances can be started with a push of a button, making them very handy. Also, gas burns a lot cleaner meaning your fireplace and chimney won’t get nearly as messy as it would with wood fuel.

Pellets – Pellets are kind of middle of the road. Wood pellets are little pieces of compressed wood that can be fed into your appliance by a small auger. They will give you the warmth of a wood fire, but since the system is self-feeding, you don’t have to worry about constantly adding logs.


Once you have a fuel type picked, you need to choose the type of appliance you would like to use. There are three main types of appliances that we offer at Old Smokey’s: fireplaces, inserts, and stoves. Although all three of these appliances would make a wonderful addition to a home, it really depends on your situation what type is best for you.

Fireplaces – Fireplaces make a wonderful addition to any home. At Old Smokey’s, we offer a wide range of prefabricated fireplaces that can add a touch of warmth and elegance to your home. There are two types of fireplaces that we offer, gas and wood. Prefabricated fireplaces are great because you can place them anywhere in your home that you have access to gas and ventilation. You can also make your fireplace the centerpiece of your home’s decor. There is such a wide variety of materials and accessories available with fireplaces, whether you are looking for a rustic, elegant, or classic design, it’s easy to customize the look that you’ll be happy with. The only downside to a fireplace is that some designs, especially open hearth and gas log designs, don’t offer the heating efficiency of stoves or inserts.

Stoves – Stoves offer a classic look that looks great in most homes. Stoves are designed for efficiency, so if you are looking to get the most bang out of your buck out of your fuel, they are the appliance for you. All the stoves that we offer here at Old Smokey’s offer the highest of energy standards. You’ll stay warm and save money this winter with a new wood, gas, or pellet stove from Old Smokey’s.

Inserts – Inserts are great if you already have an existing fireplace that doesn’t operate well, or doesn’t burn the type of fuel that you would like. An insert is a firebox that is inserted into an already existing fireplace, essentially replacing the firebox. Inserts are very efficient and are designed to push hot air into your living area, instead of up and out of your chimney. An insert can use either wood, gas, or pellets for a fuel source. If you want to change your old open hearth wood fireplace into a high-efficiency appliance that will burn the fuel of your choosing, an insert may be perfect for you.

At Old Smokeys, we want you to be happy with the way you choose to heat your home. If you are in the market for a new heating appliance, we offer a large variety for you to choose from! If you live in northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, you can reach us at 800-876-6539 or 260-587-9691, or schedule an in-home appointment with a heating expert. You can also visit our showroom at 220 W State Street, Ashley, IN 46705 to visit one of our knowledgeable staff. We look forward to helping you and from our home to yours, happy holidays!

Add a Chimney to Your Home or Office

Have you always wanted a fireplace or stove in your home or office? Adding a new heating unit to your home or office can bring you the warmth and comfort you desire during the colder winter months. You might think adding a masonry fireplace and chimney to a room would be a big project, however, there are a lot of other, cheaper and efficient options available. At Old Smokey’s, we are experts at finding the right type of fireplace for your needs. Whether you want something that looks and feels more like a traditional fireplace, or a new stove, we got the heating appliance for you! Let us tell you the many benefits of a new prefabricated fireplace or stove.

black stove on stone


One of the best things about prefabricated fireplaces or stoves is the ability to install them almost anywhere you would like to in your home or office. Ventilation for prefabricated and stove systems are much more flexible than masonry systems, meaning we can install a chimney almost anywhere in your home.

Fuel Options

There are a number of fuel options available with both prefabricated fireplaces and stoves. Wood and gas fuel burning appliances are probably our two most popular options available. However, there are some differences between the two options. Gas appliances are generally easier to operate and maintain. This is because gas can be directly piped into your home and connected to your appliance. This means you never have to collect and store fuel the way you would have to with a wood burning appliance. Also, gas fireplaces generally start by just flipping a switch. Wood appliances on the other hand can be cheaper to operate if wood is readily available. Also, most people think the ambiance created by a real wood fire is impossible to beat.


All of the fireplaces and stoves we install here at Old Smokey’s are EPA qualified, meaning they emit at least 70 percent less gas than a traditional masonry fireplace. Efficiency is important to a lot of our customers. Not only is it good for the environment, but you get more bang for your buck as well. Efficient fireplaces and stoves push more heat into the home instead of out of your chimney, meaning you need to use less fuel to stay warm. An added benefit is that it also creates fewer maintenance issues for your fireplace.

Let Old Smokey’s Help You!

Once you determine where you would like to place your new heating appliance, we can help with the design as well. This could include building a wall or mantle around the appliance. If you want to keep the look of an older style masonry fireplace, there are a large number of brick or stone tile options which can imitate a real masonry fireplace. You will ever know the difference. If you want to add warmth, comfort, and style to your home or office, look no further than Old Smokey’s. Our heating and chimney technicians can help you find the perfect fireplace for your home. Call us today at 260-424-0009 or schedule an appointment online to have a technician come to your home and discuss your home heating options. You can also come to our sales floor and check out what we have to offer for your home heating needs.

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