Traditional fireplaces are very common in homes across the country, but over the years like most home additions, a few improvements have been made. An ideal upgrade to masonry fireplaces are wood-burning fireplace inserts. It’s also a good transition from outdated designs to modern ones.
To ensure that all the heat is being pushed out into the room without leaving through the chimney, fireplace inserts are made to fit comfortably inside your wood-burning fireplace. Below, I will explain why all wood-burning fireplaces should have inserts and how to install a fireplace insert.
Why Install A Fireplace Insert
There is no better way than spending a cold December day comfortably sitting on your couch infront of a gorgeous fireplace. Furthermore, installing a new fireplace can even reduce your heating costs, provide a much-needed centerpiece to your living room and even increase your home’s resale value. A fireplace insert is highly recommended should you choose wood-burning as opposed to gas or electric heating.
Inserts are steel boxes that are placed inside your masonry fireplace. The insert is surrounded by a steel shell. The shell ensures all heat enters the room and does not leave through the chimney. However, in order to work correctly, they must be installed perfectly.
Fireplace inserts can be unsafe if installed poorly. It could result to smoky living rooms as well as difficult and tedious maintenance if the inserts are not connected to the actual fireplace chimney. Needless to say, we strongly recommend hiring a fireplace pro to install your wood-burning fireplace insert.
How to Install A Wood-Burning Fireplace Insert
We know there are handy people out there looking for the challenge of installing a wood fireplace insert without professional help. Below are all the steps one needs to take for installation.
There are a few preparations one has to make. To start off, you may have to grind down a few bricks directly above the fireplace. Basically, the wall has to be flush with the opening because once the fireplace insert is installed, pieces of brick can not stick out directly above.
Even if this is a wood-burning fireplace insert, you need an electrical outlet in the fireplace to connect the insert. It should be put it in the rear of the fireplace. Working with electricity can be very tricky so be safe and look up a local electrician.
Most fireplaces today have gas lines to assist with wood fireplaces. If that is the case, you will need unscrew that gas line and shut off the gas. It is in the way of your fireplace insert. There should still be a gas outlet that you need to cap. Make sure you use heavy glue or caulk to connect the cap.
Make Room for the Vent
All fireplaces have a damper that essentially lets heat leave or not leave the fireplace through the chimney. With a wood fireplace insert, you will need to make sure the stainless steel vent that is connected to the insert makes it way up the chimney. Now, in order to do that, you may need to remove your current damper and/or remove a few bricks to make room for the circular vent.
You will need a blowtorch or a screwdriver (if that easy) in removing the damper and use a chisel and hammer to remove the obstructing bricks. You can now work on getting the liner down the chimney.
At this point, if you’re afraid of heights, you may have to call a friend. Liners are not the straightest items to work with and as such, it will take a little finesse and creativity to get it from the top of the chimney down into the fireplace.
The pros attach a pulling cone and rope to the end of the liner that will be connected to the insert. Have one person drop the rope and that end of the liner down. Have another person down at the fireplace pulling the rope/end of the liner into the fireplace.
Connect the Lines
Now that the liner is through the fireplace, we can make our final connections. First, make the electrical connections necessary for the wood-burning insert. Make sure you tell the manufacturer which side your electric outlet is on so they know where to install.
Next, remove the pulling cone and rope from the liner. Then, attach your adapter, or piece that connects the liner to the insert. To ensure easy passage make sure that the adapter is constructed at an angle.
Start moving the insert towards the fireplace to finally put the wood insert into place. Connect the power from the insert into the outlet in the rear of the fireplace. Then, connect the liner (with the adapter attached) into the top of the fireplace insert. You might need to screw or drill it together.
You will need to cap off the other end of the liner. Make sure the liner sticks out from the chimney about two or three feet. Cut off the excess liner.
Then, add silicone sealant around the edge of the flue tile that will hold down the chimney cap. Make sure it is firmly in place before leaving the roof.
Lastly, screw in the surround panel in your living room. Once again, the panel should be even with the fireplace because you removed interrupting bricks.
Wood-burning fireplace inserts will definitely give necessary modernization of the classic fireplace. They will definitely lower your heating costs and increase the resale value of your home even if it costs a little bit expensive.
Are you in need of masonry repairs? Trust the experts at Royal Masonry with any masonry service you require. Contact us today and find out for yourself why our customers highly recommend us to their friends and family.