Wood-burning fireplaces provide a magical ambiance in your home. However, they require a lot of maintenance and can harm the environment and your health. If that concerns you, the best thing you can do is turn your outdated wood-burning fireplace into an electric model.
The easiest way to do so is to install a brand-new electric insert. Although most fireplaces and fireplace inserts require professional installation, you can easily install an electric fireplace yourself if you have the right tools and knowledge.
We will guide you step by step on how to install an electric fireplace insert.
What Is an Electric Fireplace Insert?
An electric fireplace insert is a stylish sealed box that goes inside your existing fireplace masonry and changes its fueling system. An insert can turn your old wood-burning fireplace into a gas or electric model. It does this without demolishing the structure.
Additionally, these inserts are designed to be more efficient with their heat, warming rooms in less time while using less fuel, gas, or electricity.
Since this isn’t an intrusive makeover project, many people opt to install their fireplace inserts themselves.
Steps for Installing an Electric Fireplace Insert
If you have prior experience with electric devices, you should have no problem installing your brand-new electric insert. However, we recommend asking another person for assistance for safety reasons.
Here are the steps you need to follow to install an electric insert into an existing fireplace opening:
Get Everything Ready
The first step is the easiest one. You must ensure that you have everything ready to start the installation process. For instance, remove every trace of ash from your fireplace to easily insert the new firebox.
Once your fireplace is clean, you can check for certain requirements that electric fireplace inserts need for safety. If your fireplace doesn’t have a rain cap, install a cover plate over your chimney. This will prevent water from coming in during rainy days.
We also recommend closing and sealing your fireplace damper to prevent heat loss and increase energy efficiency. A sealed damper prevents heating from going all the way up the chimney by directing the heat into the room.
Find or Install a Power Outlet
The next step is determining whether you have a working power outlet near your fireplace. If there is one, the installation should be fast and easy.
However, if you don’t have an available power outlet, you will need to install one. We recommend hiring a professional electrician to install the power outlet since this can be dangerous.
Insert the Firebox into the Fireplace
Now that the fireplace is ready, you can finally insert your new electric firebox. Slide the firebox into your fireplace opening and connect it to the power outlet.
Some inserts might require you to adjust the leveling screws to finalize the installation. However, most are straightforward and shouldn’t take long to set up.
Finish Attaching the Frame or Trim
Finally, you’ll need to attach the trim or frame. It will block the gaps between the firebox and the fireplace opening walls. Some inserts include glass frames or wrought iron trims to create a stylish look, perfect for modern homes and apartments.
Alternatively, you can create a custom trim to help the insert fit your home’s style better.
Try Your Brand-New Electric Fireplace Insert
Now that your electric fireplace insert is installed, it’s time to try it out. Turn on the power and set it to the temperature you prefer.
Note: Remember that every manufacturer provides a set of guidelines and steps for their electric fireplace insert installation. We always recommend checking the manual and instructions to ensure you follow the official steps.
FAQ: Electric Fireplace Insert Installation
Can I Install an Electric Fireplace Insert?
If you have an existing fireplace, you can easily and safely install a new electric fireplace insert. All you need are basic carpentry skills and electrical wiring knowledge unless you have an electric outlet near your existing fireplace. In that case, the installation becomes even easier.
However, if you don’t know about wiring and carpentry, we recommend hiring a professional to install your new electric fireplace insert.
What Are the Clearance Requirements for Electric Fireplace Inserts?
We always recommend keeping a 3-foot clearance for your fireplaces. However, electric inserts work differently.
Here are the clearance requirements you need to know about:
From the top of the box to combustible or non-combustible materials, you need ⅜" of clearance.
From the top of the electric insert frame to the mantel board, you need a clearance of 2".
From the back and sides of the box to the walls surrounding it, you need 1" of clearance.
No clearance is needed between the insert and the floor.
You could also choose a zero-clearance fireplace insert. It is the perfect choice for homes with little room to spare.
How Much Does an Electric Fireplace Insert Cost?
Electric fireplace inserts can cost between $1,000 and $4,000, depending on size, style, and heat capacity. The larger the room you want to heat up, the more powerful (and expensive) your fireplace insert will need to be.
What Are the Best Fireplace Insert Manufacturers?
To choose the best fireplace insert for your home, you will need to know which brands are the most reliable. The most popular brands offer the highest quality models with the most stylish designs and powerful features.
Here are the most popular electric fireplace insert manufacturers:
DIMPLEX is one of the most popular manufacturers of fireplace inserts in the country. Many people prefer DIMPLEX because it offers durability, style, safety, and power at reasonable prices.
All DIMPLEX fireplaces and inserts are designed with quality in mind. Its fireplace inserts have everything from realistic flame displays to superior heat capacity.
Furthermore, DIMPLEX provides versatility and a variety of choices for every home need. You can easily find the right electric insert for your house with DIMPLEX.
Modern Flames is another popular electric fireplace insert manufacturer that provides realistic and beautiful flame displays while remaining durable and affordable. This reliable American brand focuses on innovation through new technologies that can recreate the look and feel of a real fire, plus a handful of additional features.
A reliable manufacturer and one of the most popular in the country, SimpliFire is a name you can trust. This brand designs and manufactures some of the most energy-efficient fireplace inserts without sacrificing style and looks. Its commitment to elegance and functionality makes SimpliFire the perfect choice for modern and luxurious homes.
Find the Perfect Electric Fireplace Insert for Your Home with CAPO Building Specialties
If you are looking for high-quality electric fireplace inserts, you’ve come to the right place. We have the widest selection of electric fireplace inserts by the most reliable manufacturers, from Dimplex to Modern Flames. Check out our full Electric Fireplace Insert collection and find the right one for your needs.