What is a Fireplace Blower?

Amy Hunter

A fireplace blower is an effective way to increase the efficiency of your home heating system. People who have an existing fireplace are probably already familiar with the benefit of supplementing an existing furnace or central heat system. A blower takes this one step further, by blowing the warmed air into the home.

A fireplace insert blower can be installed on an existing fireplace.
A fireplace insert blower can be installed on an existing fireplace.

For many people, the drawback of a fireplace is that it is large, takes up a great deal of room, and creates a mess. The warmth from the fireplace stays close to where the fireplace is located. A fireplace blower eliminates this problem.

Most fireplace blowers are not visible when looking at the fireplace.
Most fireplace blowers are not visible when looking at the fireplace.

Adding an insert blower to an existing fireplace allows the warm air to filter through the entire home. People who already have a fireplace in their home can find blowers at stores that sell fireplace accessories. One can also be professionally installed by a fireplace repair contractor.

It may seem counterintuitive to add a fan to something that is meant to heat an area, but the fact is, adding a fireplace blower makes the fireplace dramatically more efficient. The blower pushes air through the home gently, so that it does not feel cool. It also does not cool the heated air off as it moves through the home.

Deciding on the proper size for the blower is important. Buying one that is larger than necessary is a waste of money and energy, while one that is not large enough will be ineffective. A homeowner's main concern when shopping for a blower is access to an electrical outlet. The blower requires electricity to run, so if there is no outlet close by, the addition may require help from an electrician.

If there is an electrical outlet nearby, the homeowner needs to purchase a blower insert that has the motor on the same side as the electrical outlet. For example, if the outlet is on the left of the fireplace, then the motor should be located on the left side of the blower. Homeowners who need to have an electrical outlet installed should be sure that the outlet and motor are compatible.

Fireplace blowers are a good way to warm up a home on a cold winter day. They do not increase the risk of fires or force soot or smoke into the house. Most are not visible when looking at the fireplace.

Fireplace blowers can increase the area a fireplace heats.
Fireplace blowers can increase the area a fireplace heats.

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Discussion Comments


Does the blower have to be mounted beneath the fireplace or can it sit above? On my insert there is more room on the top and also more room to run power.


I am looking at installing a fireplace heater system in our home. What do you need to know for sure before you buy them? I have looked at a few places online, but can't find a great description of what measurements are needed.

I see a lot of stuff about 4 and 5 pipe systems. Is either one better than the other? Also, how do you decide what type of motor you will need? Finally, I have seen some stuff about choosing your system based on whether or not you have a raised hearth. How does that play into what systems will and won't work?


This may be an odd question, since I've never had a fireplace, so I have never dealt with blower systems. Whenever the blower pulls air in the from the room and forces it further out into the rest of the house, is there any chance that it pulls in ashes or anything that would end up getting spread around easier?

It sounds like these things usually are pretty limited to a small area. Is there any way that you could install additional piping to make a fireplace heater directly heat rooms that are farther away?


@cardsfan27 - My parents just had a fireplace heating system installed in their fireplace, so I think I can answer your questions.

To start, a fireplace blower fan is just one component of something called a fireplace heating system. The heating system itself is just a series of 4 or 5 pipes that sit above the fire in the fireplace. Whenever the system is turned on, the blower takes cold air from the room and sends it through the pipes where it gets heated and forced out into the rest of the room.

As far as I know, there is no difference between a gas or wood fireplace blower system.

As you've probably figured out, the fire doesn't go out because the fan isn't actually blowing on the fire, it is just pulling air from the room and through the pipes. They work really well overall and can spread the heat into several rooms of the house.


I am not sure I completely understand how this fireplace blower would work. Is it connected to the ductwork of your house, or is it some sort of stand alone system that runs throughout the house? Also, if there are fans involved, how does it keep the fire from going out?

I know there are different kinds of fireplaces you can have, too. Is there any difference between a gas fireplace blower and one for a wood fireplace?

I have never heard of these things before, and I am just wondering about how one of them would work. It sounds like an interesting idea. I have been in houses with fireplaces, and they aren't always the best source of heat if you aren't sitting right next to them.

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