How to Choose The Best Fireplace Insert

Posted on Jan 29 2021 - 3:55pm by Johnny B

A fireplace insert is a cost-efficient and effective way to warm a living space without the mess of a traditional fireplace. If you’re thinking about installing a fireplace insert, keep several factors in mind before you spend your money, so you make the best choice. 

If you’re still wondering if a fireplace insert is right for you, also check out the many benefits of inserts below. 

Insert Size

Fireplace inserts come in many sizes, and you need to have the correct dimensions for your space. So, carefully measure your existing fireplace’s height, width, and depth from the back of the wall to the opening in front. Use those measures to ensure a perfect fit. 

Insert Fuel Type

Fireplace inserts are fueled in different ways. The most common are: 

Electric

This type of insert is made for those looking for the feel of a fire without the usual hassle and cleanup. Electric inserts are the easiest to run because you don’t need to deal with permits, airflow, venting, or combustion. You just need to buy it, plug it in, and wait for the heat to spread throughout your space. 

Most electric inserts feature flames or a picture of heat coming from wood blocks for a realistic look. Many homeowners like the electric option because it’s easy to use and no maintenance. 

However, electric fireplace inserts don’t generate a lot of heat. So if you need heat, you’ll want to consider the other two options. 

Gas

Gas inserts provide the most heat and need correct venting to be used safely. Venting kits are available from the product manufacturer and will make installing it more straightforward. If you plan to install it yourself, make sure you pull the proper permits for your area. 

Note there are vent-free inserts available made from brick, granite, or slate. These can work for bigger rooms that need more heat. But you still need to connect it to a gas line for it to work. 

Ventless fireplaces emit carbon dioxide into the home safely, but some people find the smell undesirable. Others say the emitted gases leave residue on walls and furniture. 

Wood

A real wood-burning fireplace insert is perfect for people who like the look, feel, and aroma of a real fire. You don’t need a gas line or electricity to hook up this insert, so it’s suitable for areas that have harsh winters and power outages when the snow hits. 

Remember that a wood-burning fireplace insert needs insulation and ventilation for safe use. Experts also recommend a chimney liner for optimal use and safety. 

A chimney liner does the following: 

  • Protects your home from heat transfer to flammable materials. 
  • Protects your brickwork from combustion byproducts. 
  • Provides an adequately sized chimney for best insert efficiency. 

Still Thinking About A Fireplace Insert? 

If you aren’t convinced to buy a fireplace insert yet, remember these great benefits: 

  • Save heating costs: When you use an insert, you will pay less for your winter heating bills. You can also focus your heating on the most-used parts of the house, such as the family room. And remember that a gas fireplace insert is more energy-efficient than its wood-burning cousin; less heat escapes and is sent into your space. 
  • No air leaks: Even when you shut the chimney flue, warm air escapes through your fireplace in fall and winter. A fireplace insert seals air leaks in the fireplace. 
  • Design and style: You have many style options for your insert, including steel, cast iron, and many more. Choose the one that is best for your decor.