Fireplace Inserts

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Fireplace inserts are aptly named, for they are modern, gas or gel fuel-burning fireplaces that are literally inserted into an existing masonry fireplace. They can also be inserted into a firebox, which is a space specially approved as fire-safe and deemed appropriate for use as a fireplace. Fireplace inserts are a clever way to take advantage of an old fireplace that may have otherwise been neglected or sealed up.

There's something sad about sealing up old fireplaces. They represent good, intimate family times in generations past; sealing them is like erasing a bit of history. Yet it's understandable why people do this; fireplaces can pose real problems to homeowners, including constant drafts and higher heating bills; dirt, soot, and even wild animals entering from outside; and a hazard to small children. However, fireplace inserts have become a wonderful alternative to fireplace sealing.

Options in Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace inserts allow you to use your fireplace as you normally would. The difference is that they eliminate all the hassles that go along with a real fireplace: lighting the wood, maintaining the wood, controlling embers, pumping air into the fireplace to get a dying fire going, and so on. Because inserts don't use wood, they also eliminate the pollution that goes along with wood fires, burning cleanly without any impact whatsoever on the environment--either outside or within your home.

Two different options are available in fireplace inserts. One is a complete installation of a firebox, along with the fuel source, log and grate, into the masonry opening of your fireplace. The other is to simply add the fuel, log and grate setup to your fireplace without a firebox. The first option allows you more control over the fire, even as far as being able to operate it via remote control. The second option is much cheaper and simpler than the first, requiring a setup time of only fifteen minutes. Both options give you attractive, clean-burning flames.


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