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What Is A Fireplace Insert?

What Is A Fireplace Insert?-Fast Replacement Glass answers your questions!Fireplace inserts are one of the most versatile heating applications available today. An insert is a firebox surrounded by a steel shell. A decorative faceplate camouflages the space that will inevitably exist between the insert and the fireplace opening. Often times, when homeowners are seeking to update the look of their existing masonry fireplace, they will place the insert right into the fireplace opening, much like you would do with a free-standing stove. 

  • Inserts are capable of burning wood, pellets, or gas. 
  • Wood inserts must adhere to strict fire codes, which require a chimney liner to be installed from the connection to the insert all the way to the top of the chimney. Additionally, the liner must be blanket-wrapped for insulation with a UL certified material. The insulation helps prevent condensation.
  • Gas inserts that are used in masonry or prefab fireplaces must be vented through the existing chimney. Therefore, it should be relined in the same manner as a wood burning insert, with a blanket-wrapping for insulation. The UL certified wrap will prevent condensation.
  • Pellet inserts do allow for a different types of installation. The preferred method calls for using a 4" stainless steel flex pipe as the permanent liner. However, since cleaning the stove does require removing the unit, a short length of stainless steel liner attached to the top of the insert body is acceptable.What is a fireplace insert and how does it work? Fast Replacement Glass
  • Another variation is the vent free fireplace insert. This is a clean burning system that allows the combustion by-product (wood or gas heat) to stream into a large, open room.
  • Vent free applications are only available in certain states and must meet strict by-laws and fire codes. (Consulting with a contractor or certified professional is highly advised in this case.)

Inserts are an instant face lift! They are a cost-effective way to improve the look of your home without having to install a gas burning application or tear down and replace an existing masonry fireplace. 

How is a fireplace insert different from a fireplace?

It's true – these very different heating applications look very similar to each other. That's what makes it so hard to tell the two apart! Let Fast Replacement Glass provide you with helpful insight so that you can be an expert on this particular subject.

A fireplace is literally an opening in your wall with a flue and chimney situated above it for smoke ventilation. Some fireplaces have doors and/or a screen – others do not. While some fireplaces have an elevated hearth, other styles are level with the floor. Regardless of the design, a fireplace is either masonry or zero clearance (as known as prefab or factory built).

  • Masonry means that the fireplace was crafted by someone, such as a contractor, and it can be fabricated from brick, stone, or tile. The fireplace, flue, and chimney are all connected and these fireplaces are designed to burn wood.  
  • Zero Clearance/Prefab/Factory Built means that a metal box has been constructed by a manufacturer and rather than needing a flue and chimney, it requires a double-walled pipe for ventilation. The firebox has been sufficiently insulated so that it is capable of being placed within close range of combustible materials (wood framework or drywall). It does not require a masonry surround.
Last updated on July 28th 2017.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need more information about this product. For general information, or inquiries not related to this product, please contact us directly instead. Thank you!


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