If you are renovating, remodeling or just don't know what to do with that old fireplace, think about upgrading it with a fireplace insert.
Most people are not aware of all the possibilities afforded by this option but in fact there are many.
The installation of a fireplace insert can turn the occasional source of warmth into a new and convenient supplemental heater.
Today, fireplace inserts are designed to enhance the appearance and improve the operating efficiency of older fireplaces, whether masonry or factory built.
Inserts are made either from cast iron or steel and have insulated glass doors that allow enjoyment of the fire while making the burning more efficient.
They are available for a variety of fuels including EPA certified wood, gas, propane, pellet and coal.
Today state-of-the-art technology is used in their manufacture and many have additional features including blowers, fans and thermostats.
They provide a good way to help lower utility bills as well as adding charm and ambiance to any room.
Most older homes with wood burning fireplaces can benefit from the installation of a new fireplace insert.
These older fireplaces have very low heating efficiency primarily because of the open combustion design.
These open fireplaces draw to much air in and burn to quickly wasting energy.
The fireplace insert with its closed insulated doors slows the fire down, increases the temperature of the fire resulting in a better more complete combustion.
This higher efficiency will have a noticeable impact in reducing higher home heating bills.
If you choose an EPA-certified wood burning fireplace insert, it can reduce wood burning emissions almost to zero.
There are several important considerations when you are selecting a fireplace insert.
While there are a variety of fuel types available - wood, gas, propane, pellet and coal the availability and cost of the fuel source is of prime concern.
Availability and cost of fuel types can vary widely across the country.
Size is one of the most important considerations.
While fireplace inserts come in many sizes, getting the right size for your space will save time, money and certainly frustration.
The size you need is based on the size of the opening of the existing fireplace.
You want to make several key measurements: opening height and width, rear width (many if not most existing fireplaces are narrower at the back) and depth.
Measure the depth of the hearth as well, whether it's a raised hearth or flush with the floor.
Consider the location.
A fireplace insert needs to be used in an existing masonry or factory built fireplace.
They are either vented naturally through a working chimney, direct vented or vent free depending on the fuel used.
In most cases, a chimney liner is required for naturally vented fireplaces.
Make sure to check on all building codes before installing.
Fireplace inserts come in a variety of styles, colors and finishes from contemporary to traditional.
Whatever your choice, a fireplace insert will dramatically transform that old existing fireplace.
It will add value to your home and warmth and charm to any room.