Factory Built Fireplace Inserts

Factory-made fireplace inserts are available that reduce the amount of room air used by the fireplace and achieve better heating performance. To be most effective, the unit should have draft-tight doors and a separate combustion air supply from the outside. Airtight wood stoves are also more efficient than open fireplaces. A fireplace insert can be added to a masonry fireplace to improve safety and efficiency or can be installed with a framed surround, if the required clearances are present. Inserts often have blowers that significantly improve heating efficiency and circulation. A steel flue liner is installed inside an existing flue to remove combustion gases (Figure 146). Special installation procedures must be followed. Review installation and fire safety requirements with the local building department. Many if not most jurisdictions require that solid fuel burning fireplaces be installed by qualified contractors.

Natural Gas Fireplaces

Natural gas fireplaces have become a more popular fireplace option in areas served by natural gas. Aside from being more affordable, relatively efficient and lightweight, they can be directly vented through the wall behind the unit (or up a chimney), can be sealed combustion (meaning the combustion process never comes in contact with house air), and can effectively heat the room where they have been installed without cooling off the rest of the house.

A gas-burning, factory-built fireplace (natural gas or propane) may be installed in an existing masonry fireplace or in new construction (Figure 147) without masonry. Units usually come with fans that increase heating performance. Where floor space is limited, natural gas fireplaces can be installed in small cantilevered projections secured to the side of the house and covered by a small shed roof. Ensure the fireplace is approved for use in Canada. Install it according to the building code, the manufacturer’s requirements and natural gas or propane installation codes.

Figure 147

Factory-built fireplace

Source : Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)