For any homeowner looking for a beautiful fireplace area in any part of their home, there will generally be two broad options at your disposal: Full-on fireplaces and fireplace inserts. While both these options offer robust practical and aesthetic themes to meet your needs, they differ in a few important ways that might make one or the other the prudent choice for you.
At Comfort Solutions, we're happy to offer a wide range of fireplace options in Utah, plus several gas and wood fireplace insert selections as well. What are fireplace inserts, how do they differ from standard fireplaces, and how can you tell which is present in your home if you've just moved in? Here's a primer.
Gas Fireplace Vs Gas Fireplace Inserts
There are a few basic ways to differentiate a gas fireplace from gas fireplace inserts. The first is the size of the fireplace itself. Gas inserts are typically smaller than a more traditional fireplace design, so you can fit these into spaces that would be too small for an entire structure.
For this reason, you'll often see fireplace inserts installed into a masonry structure or opening that was obviously created for a different original purpose. If the gas fireplace is built into the wall without evidence of a preexisting structure, on the other hand, it's likely a full-on fireplace.
Another big factor to consider: Is there a chimney in place? If you have an existing brick chimney, it's likely your home is using gas inserts. On the other hand, if there's a vent on the side of the home that releases exhaust, this is more commonly a sign that the gas item in place is a full traditional fireplace. This is because gas fireplaces use either direct or natural venting for their exhaust, and do not require the use of a chimney.
Wood Fireplace vs Wood Fireplace Insert
Differentiating between traditional fireplaces and inserts is a bit tougher with wood, as many wood fireplaces are built to mimic a stone or brick aesthetic and can be tougher to tell apart. If you can't tell if yours is built-in or not, a good way to test it out is the method for which the fireplace receives and expels air.
Wood units both need vertical ventilation, but how they accomplish this often tells the difference. If your chimney has a wood cap on it, for instance, you likely have a wood insert; if, on the other hand, your roof has a pipe protruding from it serving as an exhaust vent, this is more typically a sign of a traditional wood fireplace.
For more on how to tell fireplace inserts apart from traditional fireplaces, or to learn about any of our fireplace options throughout Utah, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.