A wood insert is like a wood stove that has been modified by its manufacturer to fit within the firebox of a masonry or prefab fireplace. An insert consists of a firebox surrounded by a steel shell. Air from the room flows between the firebox and shell to be warmed. When burning a fire in an open fireplace, the majority of the heat escapes up the chimney. When an insert is installed, your fireplace is converted into an energy efficient heating unit. With today’s beautiful insert designs, you maintain the beauty of the fireplace while adding the desired heat.
Most inserts are designed for masonry fireplaces. However more and more inserts are being designed, tested and approved for the installation into prefab fireplaces that are so common in today’s homes. When installing into a prefab fireplace, extra precautions should be taken to insure a safe installation. Close attention must be paid to clearances as the insert cannot come into close contact with any combustible materials such as carpet or wood. Existing chimneys must be relined with stainless steel so they can withstand the higher temperatures.
If you are interested in having a wood insert installed in a prefab, we will be happy to provide a site inspection to see what options are available. Not all fireplaces meet the safety standards for a wood insert. In those cases, other options would include possibly tearing and out rebuilding the fireplace, continuing to burn wood as is, or considering a gas insert.