There’s just something special about a good fireplace on a cold evening. I think my love for wood fireplaces goes back to the days of summer camp when I was a kid, sitting in front of a fire with a blanket around my shoulders, singing songs with a guitar. After getting married, I knew our home would need a quality fireplace because I want my wife and my future family to have this same love for a warm fire that I do.
Sure enough, the home we decided to purchase has a central wood burning fireplace. The only bad thing about the fireplace is that it has been well used. Despite my best efforts over the past couple months, I just can’t get the scorching off of the interior bricks. My wife says it doesn’t bother her… but it bothers me.
I was attracted to the idea of having the Finest Fires in my living room. I’m tired of scrubbing bricks. I might be a low-tech kind of guy, but this fireplace emergency cried out for a high-tech solution. That’s when I discovered a fireplace insert that would work.
Here’s Why I Love a Fireplace Insert
I don’t mind putting in a fair day of work for a fair wage, but let’s be honest: I don’t like having to work harder than is necessary. That’s why I was attracted to the concept of a wood burning fireplace insert in the first place. It basically just slips into the fireplace that we’ve got in our home and that’s all the work that needs to be done!
Of course I’m over-simplifying the process. A new fireplace insert means needing new flue piping to exhaust the fire box. To make that happen, I bought some flexible chimney pipe kit that could connect to the top of our chimney and have a rain cap that works with it too. It was a pretty messy installation and I figured out the hard way that climbing up to the top of the roof on a misty day is a bad idea, but it’s done and looks good.
I also had to line the chimney with our building codes. I decided to hire someone locally to get that done. It cost me a couple hundred bucks for the labor, but the job was done in less than a couple hours and the work was guaranteed. I don’t know that I have the same confidence in my work… but we’re going to try it out!
Connecting the Fireplace Insert Was Simple and Easy
If you’ve ever connected a dryer vent to your exhaust port in a laundry room, then you can connect a fireplace insert. The insert slipped right into the existing fireplace and the faceplate created an instantly beautiful addition to the home. Clean lines and dark metal gave us a modern boost, and more importantly for me, it hid the scorched bricks on the fireplace that I couldn’t get scrubbed clean.
My one piece of advice is this: light your fire box outside before installing it in your fireplace. When I lit ours for the first time, it smelled like someone was melting a plastic water bottle in the fire! This lasted for the first couple of lightings afterward as well. Overall, however, I’m very pleased with the outcome. It gives me my second love of life back and I can enjoy it with my first love every evening.