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Fireplace vs. Fireplace Insert: Which is Right for Your Home?


Fireplace vs. Fireplace Insert: Which is Right for Your Home?

Although they are the same in purpose—to heat your home—there are a few differences between fireplaces and fireplace inserts. Both options have benefits and disadvantages, making it important to consider your situation prior to deciding which is best for your home. Here are some pros and cons of each to make your decision a little easier.


A fireplace is an open space with a flue to vent out the smoke of the fire.

Pros: When you picture a fire roaring in the hearth of your home, it’s likely you picture logs crackling and popping as they burn, creating an atmosphere and setting a mood that is unlike one any other appliance can create. Fireplaces are traditionally built using brick, meaning they’re fire-safe, and as long as the actual fireplace and flue are properly constructed, everything should vent adequately, creating no extra hazard to your home.

Cons: One of the biggest drawbacks to a traditional fireplace is the amount of upkeep and cleaning it requires. It’s wise to have your fireplace and flue checked every few years to ensure there are no cracks or damage that can cause a fire, while regular maintenance is required every time you burn wood, including removing ashes and other debris from the space.

Fireplace Insert

Much like a stove, fireplace inserts are enclosed and emit a significant amount of heat.

Pros: Perhaps the best part of owning a fireplace insert is the lack of cleaning it requires in addition to the amount of heat it radiates into your room. With options available including gas, pellet, or wood-burning, a fireplace insert sits inside your existing fireplace and connects to your flue. This also makes for easy installation, and a much easier and cheaper option to update your fireplace instead of rebuilding the whole structure.

Cons: The biggest difference between a fireplace and a fireplace insert is the overall look. If you desire something traditional, with the classic sound, smells, and ambiance of a crackling wood fire, a fireplace insert might not be the right choice for you. An insert may only be a good fit for your home if you’re looking to update an old fireplace or have a chimney but no fireplace—in any other situation, installing a fireplace insert may be a more expensive option.

We Can Help

Are you ready to update your fireplace or install a new one in your home? At Aqua Rec’s, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about your options and let us help you decide which type of fireplace is best for you.