Gas logs Fireplace Inserts
A friend of mine was researching fireplaces. He wanted to replace the old wood burning one that came with his home. He asked me what was the difference between fireplaces and fireplace inserts. I mean they look the same, and they all make fire, so how do you know what you need? At first I didn’t have a good answer. As it turns out, confusion aside, there is a clear difference between these two. But after doing some reading, I was able to help my friend. With any luck, this article will help you figure out what you need and end the much heated (yes, literally) debate as to the difference between a fireplace and a fireplace insert.
When you think of a fireplace, you think of an opening (keyword open) in the wall with a flue above it to remove/vent the smoke. Some fireplaces have glass doors on the front, or a screen making it look closed. Basically, a fireplace is either built one of two ways: masonry or factory built.
Masonry fireplaces are constructed by builders, and are almost always made out of brick. However, some more upscale fireplaces are made of stone and even tile. This connects seamlessly to the flue and chimney in your home as one element.
Factory built fireplaces are a metal box, sometimes made with or without refractory bricks inside to be framed into a house without masonry. They are usually installed in framed walls and encased in non-combustible materials while the home is being built. Nowadays, a lot of new homes have gas fireplaces, but the standard for older homes is usually wood burning.
You can get a fireplace after your home has been built; it just requires a little bit of a renovation. A cavity will have to be created and venting allowed for, either by installing a chimney or applicable venting, or by buying a vent free fireplace (only available in certain states – check your local by-laws).
Can you install a gas log without insert fireplace?
A gas log can be installed in a regular fireplace, or in a prefab, but it should be done by an installer familiar with the process. Burning any fuel, including gas, uses up air, and produces products of combustion. Done badly, it could be very dangerous.