Updating Your House? 2 Reasons You Should Invest In A Fireplace Insert

During the cold, gray winter months, nothing can melt away the gloom like a roaring fire. In addition to adding extra warmth and a nostalgic charm to any room, fireplaces can also make your home feel like an upscale estate. Unfortunately, if your fireplace was installed decades ago, it can make your entire space feel dated. However, fireplace inserts can slide right into the opening to transform that old hearth. Here are two reasons you should invest in a fireplace insert, and why you won't regret your decision later. 

1: Minimal Structural Changes

If you are considering an electric or gas fireplace insert, you might be wondering how the existing fireplace structure will need to be altered. However, one of the best things about fireplace inserts is that they don't require extensive structural changes-- even if your old fireplace didn't function properly.

Inserts are made to fill the entire interior of your fireplace, so you won't have to worry about fixing up those old cracked bricks. If your existing flume operates properly, your gas fireplace will be vented up your existing chimney. On the other hand, electric models don't need to be vented at all. Here are a few other benefits that simple insert installation offers:  

  • Preserve Architectural Details: Inserts give you the opportunity to update the look of your fireplace without altering existing architectural details, so you won't have to worry about adding another whirly-bird to your roof.
  • No Maintenance: The more vent work a fireplace contains, the more places there are for dirt and debris to build inside of your system. Fortunately, gas fireplaces burn clean, and electric fireplaces don't emit any ash at all.
  • Safety: Both gas and electric fireplace inserts contain a protective layer of glass between the "fire" and your front room. Not only does this pane keep your kids from getting burned, but it can also keep embers from popping onto your carpet and starting a fire.

If you are interested in a gas or electric fireplace insert, contact a professional who can install it correctly. Check out a company like Giddens Brothers Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning to find a reputable contractor. Electric versions start at around $600, while gas models run between $2,000-$5,000. After your insert is installed, you can enjoy a glowing fire, without all of the hassle that comes along with a traditional fireplace. 

2: Realistic Look, Feel, and Sound

In the old days, you might have been able to spot a fake fireplace from a mile away. However, modern technology and artistry has made fireplace inserts look more realistic than ever. Here are a few ways that manufacturers have made simulated fireplaces look realistic:

  • Flames: Those electric fireplace insert flames might look real, but they are actually created by refracted light. Some electric fireplaces refract light in a three-dimensional pattern, so that the flames look as realistic as possible.
  • Logs: To create realistic-looking logs, manufacturers actually take molds of actual piles of wood. They create the fake logs from molded cement, which is then painted and carved to look as realistic as possible. 
  • Embers: Tiny interior lamps create the look of burning embers beneath the artificial logs.
  • Sound: If you yearn for the sound of crackling logs, you can even buy little powder packets to sprinkle inside of your gas fireplace. This substance contains vermiculite, real rock, and sometimes fabric to create a fire that sounds like the real thing.
  • Heat: Believe it or not, that artificial fire can even warm up the room. Inserts commonly contain heating elements and silent fans that can disperse warm air throughout your home.

Investing in a fireplace insert might help your home to stay a little warmer, without adding extra chores to your list.