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Ask the Expert: Can I convert my wood-burning fireplace to a new gas fireplace insert?

Answers by Jerry Aaberg, Fireplace Sales,

The Fireplace Store, Alexandria

Question: Can I convert my wood-burning fireplace with a gas fireplace insert?

Absolutely! Everyone loves the coziness and warmth of a crackling wood-burning fire. As beautiful as a wood-burning fire is, the day may come when you want to stop working so hard and relax!

When that day comes, it’ll mean the end of cutting, splitting and hauling wood. And no more dirty ash to clean up. You’ll exchange the mess and hassle of wood for the ease of a switch or remote control.

Before and after of wood-burning fireplace to gas fireplace insert. Contributed photo by Heat & Glo®.

If you’re thinking of changing, you have the option to install a gas fireplace insert. Gas inserts fit into your existing masonry fireplace without a major renovation. They’re an efficient way to eliminate cold chimney drafts, lower your heating bill, and update the room’s look.

Begin the process by taking the width, height and depth measurements of your existing fireplace (this narrows down the options that will fit into the opening). The Fireplace Store in Alexandria offers an array of different options to fit your budget.

We recommend a site visit to measure and look at options to get a gas line to your fireplace. Electrical wiring may also be needed if you don’t have a power source close to the fireplace to plug in the unit. The blower requires power to operate. However, the insert can run on the battery backup system during a power outage.

Most fireplace inserts are direct vent units in which two three-inch liners run down the existing chimney. One carries exhaust gases out the other brings in fresh air for combustion. Most insert projects are complete in a day.

You can also update your existing wall with stone or brick facing overlays for a full transformation.

The Fireplace Store completes projects from start to finish, providing venting, gas piping, electrical, and stonework in a very efficient manner – without hiring multiple contractors.

Stop by our showroom to feel the warmth of a gas fireplace insert where you’ll see over 40 burning fireplaces and stoves on display. We’ll walk through your options and experience what your fireplace “after” could look like.

Find out more

The Fireplace Store carries several leading brands, including Minnesota based Heat & Glo, Heatilator, Quadra-Fire, Regency, Modern Flame, Dimplex, and Boulder Creek Stone.

Visit The Fireplace Store at 2510 South Broadway Street in Alexandria (next to the movie theater). Or give Jerry a call at 800-595-8645. The Fireplace Store is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

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