Switching from a traditional fireplace to an electric one with an insert is not a simple task, though with basic carpentry skills you can get this task done yourself. A fireplace insert is a fireproof “box” that is surrounded by steel and insulated glass, which creates a closed combustion system and traps the heat. Fireplace inserts can burn gas, wood, or pellets, and is “inserted” into a pre-existing built fireplace, called a masonry.

Below are seven easy steps to install a fireplace insert yourself!

  1. Pick an insert

There are several types of fireplace inserts, those include gas, wood-burning, and electric inserts. They are all formed in the same way (fireproof box with steel and glass), yet they do not all function the same. As you may have deduced from their names, each one functions via the mentioned tool; gas inserts need gas to ignite the flames, wood-burning work similar to traditional fireplaces, and electric inserts work with a flip of a switch to say the least. There are also ethanol inserts that can be used in commercial or residential locations, according to https://modernethanolfireplaces.com/collections/manual-ethanol-fireplace-burner-inserts ethanol inserts have zero emissions other than water and nominal amounts of carbon dioxide, making them extremely convenient and environmentally friendly as well .

2. Make sure you have clearance requirements

The second step you need to make is to make sure you have clearance requirements, or the basic requirements needed to place an insert. For example, an electric fireplace insert will need 2 inches from the top of the insert frame to a mantel board and an inch from the back and the sides of the insert to the walls surrounding it.

3. Put a cover plate on chimney

Cover plates are especially important since they prevent substances such as water from entering, so your third step is to cover the chimney with a cover plate so that it still allows smoke to get released.

4. Seal off damper

A damper is a plate that stops and regulates the air flow within a duct or a chimney, so sealing it off would be essential so as to prevent air infiltration.

5. Install the needed requirements

All inserts, whether they are electric or wood-burning, need separate requirements. For the electric insert, you will need a power outlet, for the wood-burning you will need a flue liner, and gas inserts require an exhaust pipe and a gas line.

6. Put firebox in fireplace

After you have chosen the fireplace, installed its requirements, all you need to do now is to attach the box in place so that it can start heating up the room.

7. Attach the frame

The frame is usually said to be optional, depending on which type of insert you have used. Some frames are used merely to decorate the room as well as help the fireplace blend in, if that is what you are looking for.


Before installing the insert, make sure that you have all the basic requirements, and can actually do it yourself. If not, you can hire someone to help you out— regardless of which option you choose, the outcome should be a fully functional insert that can warm you up in no time.

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