What is a Fireplace Insert?
A fireplace insert is a unit that’s installed into a pre-existing wood or stone fireplace, and serves as the primary heating element. An insert typically includes the interior walls of the fireplace, a grate, and life-like logs that are made of materials such as resin.
The first fireplace inserts were invented in 1896 by Joab R. Donaldson. These early inserts used smokeless coke fuel—a derivative of distilling coal—and used an electric blower to make the insert more efficient.
Early fireplace inserts were adopted and used primarily by low-income coal mining families because the coal could be procured from their own backyards. There are many varieties of inserts and can be categorized by fuel type.
Modern Fireplace Inserts
Today, most fireplace inserts are either wood burning or electric. Older homes can be outfitted with inserts without an extensive remodel. Inserts are usually made of steel or cast iron and feature a glass door or front. Modern fireplace inserts often have special features like fans and temperature control.
Vents above and below the heating chamber of wood-burning inserts circulate fresh air to be warmed and released. Any ashes or other debris is kept contained inside the heating chamber. The vent system keeps the glass door clean on wood burning inserts. Fireplace inserts have become increasingly popular due to their efficiency and appearance.
Benefits of a Fireplace Insert
- Cost efficient
- Heats up the room quickly
- Can be purchased for any size fireplace
- Keeps flame enclosed
- Temperature control available
- Consistent heat
- No remodel required
- Safety features available
- More eco-friendly than traditional fireplaces
Gas vs. Electric Fireplace Inserts
On a chilly night, there is nothing better than relaxing by a cozy fire. Gas and electric fireplace inserts can be started at the touch of a button. The choice between adding a gas or an electric insert to your fireplace is a matter of personal preference. As with a traditional gas fireplace, gas inserts pose fire and leak risks. Gas inserts are also more expensive than electric inserts.
Electric fireplace inserts are more cost efficient than gas inserts and provide peace of mind, with little-to-no risk of fire since there are no open flames. Special features,such as emergency shut off, faux log effect, and remote control make electric inserts a fantastic choice for the home.
Customize your experience with colored flames, energy efficiency modes, and even non-heated flames for warm weather usage. Enjoy the warmth and look of flickering flames without the mess and danger of a real fire. Keep your family and pets safe with glass fronts that stay cool to the touch.
Electric inserts are easier and cheaper to install than other types of fireplace inserts. All that’s required to install an electric fireplace is a power outlet and an empty fireplace. No gas, vents, or special equipment needed.
A power outlet used for an electric insert should only power the insert. Adding extra devices to the outlet may cause the circuit to trip. Once you’ve properly installed an electric insert, your home will be extra warm and comfortable in no time.
- Find an insert that will fit your existing fireplace.
- Seal a vented fireplace before adding an electric insert—this prevents warmth from escaping up the chimney.
- Consider hiring a professional before installing a gas insert yourself.
- Don’t use an extension cord on electric inserts.
- Check all settings and features once the insert has been installed
A fireplace insert is an easy way to update a room. You’ll love the hassle-free warmth and the changes in your heating bill. Your existing fireplace will serve as the frame to your new insert. PortableFireplace.com offers an incredible selection of affordably fireplace inserts.
We also carry electric fireplaces, outdoor fire pits,and patio heaters. See our full catalog for more great options. We are proud to offer free shipping and awesome customer service. Give our team a call with any questions you may have. We would love to hear from you!