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fireplace inserts

Fireplace Inserts

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If you want to make your fireplace both more practical to use and easier to maintain, fireplace inserts could be just the answer to your problems. With so many styles available, you are sure to find a model that suits your tastes and needs precisely.

What are Fireplace Inserts?

Fireplace inserts are aptly named because they are inserted into an existing fireplace opening. They act as liners for this fixture to make cleaning them much easier to do. In some cases, they may contain connections for electric or gas logs to be attached to. They can also contain a screen or glass door that covers the opening of the fireplace in order to keep sparks from flying out. Inserts can be made from cast iron, marble, stainless steel, aluminium, ceramic or fibreglass, and also come in a multitude of different styles and colours.

Benefits of Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace inserts make enjoying a wood fire much easier to do thanks to the many benefits they have to offer. A few of these benefits include:

  • Can make the fireplace more efficient since they reduce the amount of air that’s lost
  • Makes the unit easier to clean
  • Some models contain blowers that can effectively heat an entire room
  • Maximizes heat radiation, thereby making a room feel warmer
  • Adds a decorative touch to the room they are placed in
  • Can make a fireplace more versatile since some inserts allow you to burn different fuels or even pellets
  • Models that have screens attached help improve safety and keep children and pets from becoming burned
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Things to Consider when Choosing Fireplace Inserts

When deciding on fireplace inserts you should consider several factors in order to choose the right one. The first thing you should think about is the type of fuel you plan to burn inside your unit. That way, you can be sure to get an insert that will accommodate it. The overall decor of your room will play a part when choosing one as well. Try to determine if features such as a blower are desirable; if so, make sure your wiring is adequate enough to support it.

Reasons to Avoid Self-Installation

It can be tempting to consider installing fireplace inserts yourself; however, there are several disadvantages to doing so. These disadvantages could make it impractical to install fireplace inserts for a number of reasons including:

  • A great deal of air could be lost if the insert does not fit tightly
  • Blower installation requires a knowledge of electrical wiring, and shock could occur if the wiring is not hooked up properly
  • Gas lines could cause leaks that could be hazardous or deadly if they are not installed according to code
  • Doors may not open or close properly if they are not level, and this could negate some of the safety benefits of them

Some manufacturers require their fireplace inserts to be professionally installed; otherwise, any warranties that are offered could be voided. When you consider all these factors, hiring a professional to perform the installation for you makes perfect sense.

Are Fireplace Inserts Expensive?

fireplace insert costs vary a great deal based on the quality and features of the unit. Cast iron tends to be very durable, but might also cost more than stainless steel, aluminium or ceramic. The installation of a fireplace insert varies based upon the features, since installing units with gas or electric lines will require additional labour. If repairs need to be made to the fireplace, this can also increase installation estimates. The cost of repairing fireplace inserts depends on the extent of the damage; repairs that require the insert to be removed can cost more than ones performed on the spot.

Your fireplace insert questions answered

How do I clean the glass door on my fireplace insert?

For best results, you should avoid using chemicals on your glass doors. Instead, you can clean then with a mild detergent or a solution of vinegar and water.

Will a blower on my insert affect how the fire burns?

No, blowers on fireplace inserts simply move air around outside the firebox, and therefore do not affect any fire that's burning inside them.

Do gas and wood fireplaces need different types of inserts?

No. Both gas and wood fireplaces put out the same amount of heat, so there is no need to use different materials for the fireplace inserts. The only difference might be that you need something to catch sparks or ash from a wood fire.

Is it easy to install fireplace inserts?

Yes, though many people prefer to use a professional installer to make sure that everything is flush and level. Most fireplace inserts are installed with nothing more than a few screws or hinges, making them easy do it yourself projects.

Can I have a fireplace insert installed if I regularly cook inside my unit?

Yes, you may still cook inside your fireplace after installing an insert. However, you may have limited space to insert a kettle in and may therefore be limited to using only certain kinds of cookware.

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