Upgrade Your Older Home With A Fireplace Insert
Most older homes that haven’t had upgrade work done to them often still include their original fireplaces. Hand-built masonry fireplaces are nostalgic and good-looking and make great centerpieces for gatherings or just relaxing. The problem is, they don’t provide very much heat.
If you like the placement and overall look of your masonry fireplace, a simple upgrade to a gas or wood fireplace insert will make a world of difference in the heat generated for your home.
How gas and wood fireplace inserts work
An insert, as the name implies, is inserted into the opening of your existing firebox. These units are factory-built and come in a variety of sizes and styles, making it easy to enhance the décor of your home.
Inserts can run on gas (natural gas or propane) or wood. They come with their own vent pipe, which ensures a smooth draft through venting that is the correct size for the new appliance.
A “closed-combustion system” is the reason you get more heat from a fireplace insert than any traditional masonry fireplace. Heat is contained within the system and made available to warm your room, rather than going up the chimney, as is the case with 80% or more of the heat generated by your current fireplace.
Safe fireplace inserts
Inserts are very safe, thanks to heavy-duty fireproof materials used to build them. In fact, a well-made, properly installed fireplace insert is among the safest appliances in a home.
What kind of maintenance do inserts require?
Gas inserts need little maintenance. Unless there has been damage to the unit, all that’s necessary is occasional wiping down and an annual safety visit by a certified fireplace technician to check gas lines and the appliance’s components.
When you use a wood fireplace insert, creosote will form as a byproduct of combustion. This substance needs to be professionally removed by a licensed chimney sweep, the same as with your current masonry fireplace’s chimney.
Because inserts use their own vent systems, your existing chimney won’t be overburdened, but it’s still a good idea to have it inspected once a year to check for cracks in the masonry or other signs of damage.
How easy is it to install a new insert?
Fireplace insert installation is a fairly straightforward job – when performed by a technician skilled in this work. It is not advisable for homeowners to attempt to install their own inserts. Many retailers of fireplace and hearth products have divisions that perform installations as well as repairs and chimney sweep services. Others contract these services to local companies.
It’s important to note that some insurance carriers will not cover damage done by an improperly installed fireplace insert – or any other home appliance.
Choosing the right insert
When seeking to upgrade your home with a powerful new gas or wood fireplace insert, you should consult with a local fireplace shop to get advice on the BTU output, heat-efficiency ratings, and price comparisons of various models. With the right information, you’ll be able to select an appliance that will perfectly match your heating needs and aesthetic requirements. Felgemacher Fireplace Shop of Buffalo, NY, can show you many top-name fireplace inserts and help you understand how they work and how they will benefit your home and lifestyle.
Visit us at 2727 Broadway Suite 5, Cheektowaga, NY, or reach us by phone at (716) 482-1820. We sell and install fireplace inserts and offer all related fireplace and chimney services through our field division, Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney.