Difference Between a Fireplace and Insert

 In Fireplaces

When you have an old fireplace that you’re ready to swap out, what do you do? It’s not the kind of thing that you can replace on a whim. Instead, you can choose from a variety of fireplace inserts.

How it Works

Inserts slide into your existing fireplace. You just have to make sure that you’re buying an insert that’s the appropriate size, which is easy to do with some measuring and a chat with one of our salespeople. You’ll also have to install some chimney liner all the way to the top of your flue. Fireplace chimneys tend to be large because of the mechanics of burning wood in an open space. But inserts need much smaller chimneys. So, the chimney liner makes your chimney just the right size for your new equipment. 

This picture shows the difference between a fireplace as it was originally built and after an insert is installed. You can see that the insert uses almost all of the original architecture of the fireplace, making it easy to install.

Types of Fireplaces

When you’re looking at inserts, it’s important to know what kind of fireplace you’re trying to fill. There are two types: prefab and masonry. Prefab fireplaces are more common, especially in Alaska. They’re an insulated steel box that’s specially made for fireplaces. Usually, they’ll have an artificial brick or masonry background to make them look more traditional. We see prefab fireplaces in Alaska because they’re easy to ship. Masonry fireplaces are classic. They’re made completely of stone or brick.

Both types of fireplaces can have an insert installed. It’s important to know what kind of fireplace you have and how big it is before you go shopping, though.

Why Make the Switch

Although fireplaces have been a staple in homes for decades, we now understand that fireplaces are incredibly inefficient. They struggle to push heat into a home, instead pushing all of your warm air up the chimney, and they suck cold air into the house when they aren’t being used. Check out this article about the benefits of inserts for more info on efficiency and why plugging up your fireplace is the right thing to do. Although making the switch to inserts is incredibly easy, it’s still extremely valuable. Inserts are also safer because their fires are better contained. 

Types of Inserts

Inserts come in many different styles and types. An insert can burn wood, gas, or wood pellets. Wood burning inserts can put out enormous amounts of heat and are reliable in any situation. Gas inserts are clean and easy to control. Wood pellet inserts use an alternative fuel that’s easy to take care of. No matter what you’re interested in, we have an insert that will work well for you.

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