Some of you may wonder what the difference is between a traditional fireplace and a fireplace insert. At Oregon Chimney Guys, we specialize in all your chimney and fireplace needs and can give you some insight on both great options.
A traditional fireplace features a cavity against or within your wall that has a flue and chimney to vent out the smoke and fumes. Open hearth fireplaces are often created using masonry such as brick or stone, are lined with real firebrick, and are built on the foundation that they will permanently stand on in the home. This type of fireplace has been around for thousands of years and wood is the common fuel source for them, although it’s possible to convert them to a gas-burning fireplace. A chimney inspection is always recommended before a renovation such as this, and a professional chimney sweep will let you know whether your chimney can accommodate a gas modification.
Another type of fireplace is a factory built one. These normally have the chimney system and other controls built in. They are built in a separate location and later installed in the home and can be surrounded by a variety of different framing materials.
Traditional fireplaces usually offer more beauty and comfort over the output of heat. Older fireplaces are about 15 percent efficient in terms of heat emitted throughout a home. Many people would sacrifice efficiency and heat for the beauty and grandeur a traditional open hearth fireplace brings to their home.
Fireplace inserts are units that are installed inside the opening of existing fireplaces and function similarly to stoves. Open hearth fireplaces work best for inserts as they already have a cavity in which the insert can be installed. Inserts often increase the efficiency of fireplaces and can burn wood, gas or pellets. They are often a more affordable option than a complete overhaul of your fireplace to create a new style or to install a gas system. Installing a wood-burning or gas stove in the cavity of your fireplace and hooking it up to the flue system would technically be considered a fireplace insert.
Inserts come in many styles, from contemporary to rustic and everything in between. An insert is an easy way to change up the look of your room and home, especially if you already have an existing fireplace. Inserts are also more efficient at heat output than traditional fireplaces, at around 65 percent heat efficiency.
Whatever type of fireplace you have in your home, be sure to call the Oregon Chimney Guys for all your fireplace needs, such as cleaning, repair and inspections. We are always available to answer any of the questions you may have.