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Clearing the Smoke Over Fireplace Inserts

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Fireplace or fireplace insert?

This is a confusing topic. What is the difference between the two? It is easy to assume that all inserts are true fireplaces, but that isn’t the case.

They all look the same. They all burn fire. How do you know what to look for? Should you replace the wood burning fireplace in your home, or just put an insert in?

Great questions!

Simply put, a fireplace is an opening in the wall with a duct above it to vent smoke and flames. They are usually enclosed by either glass or screen on the front.

There are two methods of building fireplaces:

  • Masonry
  • Factory built

Builders construct masonry fireplaces, usually from brick. Upscale homes often hold tile or stone fireplaces. When masonry is used, the fireplace connects seamlessly to the chimney and ducts in your home.

Factory-built fireplaces are metal boxes and work well when construction isn’t feasible. These fireplaces are usually placed in non combustible materials in the wall of your home.

If you want to insert a fireplace after new-home construction has occured, you can create a cavity in your wall and allow space for venting. An insert, on the other hand, burns gas, pellets or wood. Insert it into a preexisting masonry fireplace. It looks similar to a traditional fireplace but isn’t the same.

Save money and place an insert instead of a complete overhaul. But if you don’t have a fireplace at all or an existing gas fireplace or want to save money, go for a fireplace.

Learn more about the differences between fireplaces and inserts on our website. (anything else default to always put here?)

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