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    Fireplace Inserts Q&A with the NFI Certified Specialists

    * Please Note: All customer questions are answered by our NFI Certified Specialists free of charge!
    33 Questions & 33 Answers
    from El Paso, TX asked:
    July 13, 2017
    What is the difference between an insert and a fireplace?
    1 Answer
    An insert or fireplace insert refers to a type of appliance that is designed to be installed into an existing masonry fireplace opening. As you may know, an open masonry fireplace insulates well against heat transfer to adjacent walls, but it not efficient at heating a home. A fireplace insert can be a wood or gas appliance, but both will be much more efficient at heating your space. Inserts do not have a heavily insulated outer jacket and rely on the masonry fireplace walls for proper insulation and safety. Inserts utilize a metal flashing or surround to cover the remaining space between the insert and the edges of the fireplace opening. They also rely on flexible flue liners for proper venting up the chimney flue. A prefabricated fireplace is a fully self-contained appliance that is built with the intention of installation into a combustible wall opening. As such, the appliance can be enclosed within a combustible mantel or dimensional lumber framing. Operation is similar to an insert, but the additional outer air layer and metal jacket is what ensures safe operation within a combustible wall. These types of appliances also use rigid vent pipe. For additional elaboration on fireplace inserts, please visit our fireplace insert guide.
    Submitted by: eFireplaceStore on July 13, 2017

    from Oxford, OH asked:
    April 20, 2023
    Is it safe to install an insert in a dual fireplace see-through fireplace?
    1 Answer
    No, a one-sided fireplace insert should not be installed inside a two-sided unit unless the other side is appropriately sealed off and enclosed.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on April 20, 2023

    Bradley B.
    from Westerville, OH asked:
    January 2, 2023
    We have a 75-inch TV above the fireplace. Are there inserts that have the heat resistance to protect the TV?
    1 Answer
    There is no heat resistance for fireplace regarding items above the opening. It is important to always follow the clearance to combustibles as listed in the manual. We would also always recommend installing a mantel below the TV to redirect the heat from the fireplace. 
    Submitted by: Kelsey C. on January 2, 2023

    David I
    from Hallsville, TX asked:
    May 11, 2022
    Is there an insert that will burn 24-inch wood?
    1 Answer
    Unfortunately, we do not offer an insert that will burn 24" logs. The best option we have is the Osburn 3500 Wood Fireplace Insert that will hold a 22" log. 
    Submitted by: Aaron D. on May 11, 2022

    from Berkshire County, MA asked:
    May 1, 2022
    Can an electric fireplace insert be put into a vented wood-burning stove that no longer uses wood heat?
    1 Answer
    An electric fireplace can be installed within an existing wood-burning fireplace as long as there's a nearby electrical supply, such as an electrical outlet within the firebox of the existing fireplace.
    Submitted by: Ashley H. on May 2, 2022

    Thomas J
    from Winder, GA asked:
    April 22, 2022
    What type of warranty do your fireplace inserts normally carry?
    1 Answer
    Each fireplace insert manufacturer has their own warranty policy. 
    Submitted by: Ashley H. on April 22, 2022

    Edward F
    from Cherryfield, ME asked:
    November 30, 2021
    Can I use an ecofan with a fireplace insert?
    1 Answer
    If you are using an insert that protrudes out of the firebox slightly, then as long as there is room for the fan you can place one on top and it would work well.
    Submitted by: Devon P. on November 30, 2021

    Martin L
    October 6, 2021
    How do I remove the lower door panel off a Superior gas fireplace insert to insert a blower unit?
    1 Answer
    Depending on the superior fireplace model, the blower may need to be installed through an access door located under the hearth refractory panel.  Please refer to your specific model installation manual regarding blower installation.
    Submitted by: Aaron D. on October 6, 2021

    Linda R.
    from Meadow Vista, CA asked:
    July 25, 2021
    Can a fireplace insert be used when there is no power for the fan?
    1 Answer
    Many fireplace inserts can be used in a power outage. Please refer to the owner's manual for the specific appliance.
    Submitted by: Aaron D. on July 26, 2021

    Gale P.
    from London, OH asked:
    June 30, 2021
    Where can you buy fireplace retardant material to go around the fireplace?
    1 Answer
    Any noncombustible material will work for the facing material around a fireplace.  Brick, tile, and marble are commonly used items and can often be found at most home improvement or hardware stores.
    Submitted by: Brett W. on June 30, 2021

    from Gold Beach, OR asked:
    April 24, 2021
    What is the minimum non-combustible hearth clearance from front of pellet stove ?
    1 Answer
    This requirement varies from model to model.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on April 26, 2021

    Mary and Ray
    from Vancouver, WA asked:
    August 8, 2020
    How heavy is a fireplace insert?
    1 Answer
    The weights of our inserts vary quite a bit depending on size and type (woodburning vs. gas).
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on August 10, 2020

    from Lakeville, MN asked:
    February 24, 2020
    We have a model HCE-4550A fireplace system with BF Series doors. Do you sell an all-black trim kit for this box and doors?
    1 Answer
    No, we do not offer a trim, frame or glass doors for this model. We apologize for the inconvenience.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 25, 2020

    February 19, 2020
    Do they make a propane insert to go in an existing wood stove?
    1 Answer
    Unfortunately, there are no gas log sets or inserts that may be used with a wood stove. 
    Submitted by: Will M. on February 19, 2020

    Madelyn C
    from Port Hadlock, WA asked:
    February 17, 2020
    Who does the installation?
    1 Answer
    You would need to find a qualified installer locally. We recommend using this website
    Submitted by: Will M. on February 17, 2020

    Kory R.
    from 60020 asked:
    February 4, 2020
    I currently have a prefab wood burning fireplace with gas line. I would like to add a gas insert for heat. Would it be best to remove the prefab unit completely to accommodate a larger gas insert?
    1 Answer
    You would need to take the prefab out of the wall to remove it.
    Submitted by: Owen O. on February 5, 2020

    Jack G.
    from Morgantown, IN asked:
    January 13, 2020
    Do I need an external regulator for a natural gas fireplace insert?
    1 Answer
    This depends on the model and your application, including how many other gas appliances are being serviced by your natural gas supply.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 14, 2020

    from Raleigh, NC asked:
    January 13, 2020
    My firebox is in good shape but someone removed the chimney stack from the attic through the roof. If I want to install a direct vent gas chimney, can I use a metal chimney chase above the roofline instead of having a mason rebuild the chase? How do I do that?
    1 Answer
    Unfortunately, a direct vent gas fireplace insert cannot be installed if the chimney from the existing fireplace has been removed. Your only option will be a full direct vent fireplace, which would then require its own coaxial, double-wall vent pipe. For more information, please see our Gas Fireplace and Stove Buying Guide.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 14, 2020

    from NE Ohio asked:
    December 31, 2019

    Does anyone make a fireplace insert that is powered by a high-efficiency mini-split heat pump?

    1 Answer
    We do not sell, nor are we aware of any such insert. We apologize for the inconvenience.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 31, 2019

    from Springfield, IL asked:
    December 14, 2019
    I have a small fireplace; 23 x 24 x 12 deep, in a 1910 home. I€™m told it was originally a coal fireplace. Can I get a wood or pellet insert for this fireplace?
    1 Answer
    We apologize, but we do not offer any wood or pellet inserts that are small enough to fit inside your fireplace.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 16, 2019

    Joshua T.
    from Milford, MI asked:
    December 5, 2019
    Do you sell an insert that is natural gas but that you can also burn wood in?
    1 Answer
    No, we do not.
    Submitted by: Owen O. on December 5, 2019

    Bill S.
    from San Rafael. CA asked:
    November 4, 2019

    Are there fireplace inserts that have a battery back-up in case of power outage?

    1 Answer
    Yes, most gas fireplaces with an electronic ignition offer a battery back-up such as you describe so that the burner can still ignite in the event of a power outage.
    Submitted by: Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 5, 2019

    from Grand Rapids MI asked:
    October 26, 2019
    Why can't you vent a fireplace insert horizontal?
    1 Answer
    If you are referring to direct vent fireplace inserts, it's because these products differ from direct vent fireplaces which exhaust combustion gases to the outdoors via a coaxial system where the inner exhaust pipe is shielded by the outer intake pipe for the entirety of the vent run with the exhaust and intake positioned inside the special horizontal termination cap in the correct pressure zone needed to provide balanced combustion. Since direct vent inserts use a co-linear pipe system which is only tested and safe for installation where an existing mostly vertical masonry or prefabricated chimney is present, there wouldn't be a way to position the co-linear pipe system in a way to ensure the intake and combustion air would ever be balanced.  
    Submitted by: Will M. on October 28, 2019

    from Fairfax, VA asked:
    October 18, 2019
    Does the damper always need to be in a fixed open position for a vented gas log set?
    1 Answer
    As per code, yes it does.
    Submitted by: Owen O. on October 18, 2019

    Tom P.
    from Somerset, MA asked:
    October 17, 2019
    What type of gas insert can be used for fireplaces that you can see through?  
    1 Answer
    If this is a see-through wood-burning fireplace, no inserts are currently manufactured for a see-through application and your only option would be a set of see-through gas logs.
    Submitted by: Will M. on October 17, 2019

    from Boston asked:
    March 3, 2019
    With these inserts, are they all behind glass? Can you burn them with the door open?
    1 Answer
    The direct vent inserts we carry will all be behind glass and will not function with the glass off. If you would like one with an open face, you will want to look at our vent free inserts.
    Submitted by: Brennan W. on March 4, 2019

    from Susanville Ca asked:
    April 12, 2018
    How do I measure the fireplace for the correct fit of a wood burning insert?
    1 Answer
    You will need to measure the front width, rear width, height and depth of your fireplace opening. If you have a masonry fireplace with a taper where it is less deep at the top of the opening than it is at the bottom, you may need to consider the measurements of the insert you are considering.
    Submitted by: Will M. on April 12, 2018

    from Felton, DE asked:
    October 12, 2017
    I have a mobile home with a fireplace and would like to have a fireplace insert. Can this be done?
    1 Answer
    You should first contact your local building code officials to see if you can install the unit and ask the requirements they may have on that type of installation and the permit required. After you know, you can install that locally.
    Submitted by: Owen on October 12, 2017

    from Hampshire, IL asked:
    December 31, 2014
    Can a fireback be used in a fireplace insert?
    1 Answer
    It is not recommended to do so. The high heat generated in a fireplace insert can warp and damage the casting, as a fireplace insert will not have the dilution air pulled in that an open fireplace will.
    Submitted by: eFireplaceStore on December 31, 2014

    from Fountain, CO asked:
    November 15, 2014
    Can I replace my gas insert with a pellet burning one?
    1 Answer
    As long as your fireplace has the dimensions to house a pellet insert, installation of one should not be a problem. Pellet inserts use a different venting system than gas models. As such, the existing venting will need to be removed and a stainless liner installed for the pellet insert.
    Submitted by: eFireplaceStore on November 17, 2014

    from Hollisgton, MA asked:
    September 23, 2013
    How would you install the insert into an existing fireplace? What kind of liner is required?
    1 Answer
    Wood burning and gas inserts alike will usually use a decorative metal surround to cover any additional space between the insert and the fireplace opening. The insert would simply be pushed into position, then the liner can be dropped down the chimney flue. Lastly, the surround can be attached.
    Submitted by: Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on September 24, 2013

    from FL asked:
    March 22, 2013
    Do any inserts come with a way to catch ashes so that removal is easier?
    1 Answer
    Unfortunately, the fireplace inserts that we offer do not have an option for an ash pan or tray. Ashes must be raked or swept to the front of the unit and removed using a handheld ash pan.
    Submitted by: Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on March 25, 2013

    from Sacramento, CA asked:
    November 8, 2012
    Typically, how do you clean the glass on a gas fireplace? How do you get to the inside?
    1 Answer
    In most cases, direct vent and some sealed B-vent fireplaces will have metal clasps or screw clasps that will hold the glass in place. Depending on your unit, the clasps may be on the top, bottom, or upper and lower sides. Usually, top and bottom types will only have 2 clasps, which will allow the glass to tilt up or down when opened. Side clasp models typically have 4 clasps that will all need to be opened to allow you to pull the glass straight off when opened.
    Submitted by: Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on November 9, 2012

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