How Long Do Fireplace Inserts Last?

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Getting to know how long something will last inside your home can be tricky sometimes. Are you wondering how long a fireplace insert will be usable and don't know whether it's time for an update? Well, we've done plenty of digging and have the answer waiting for you. Let's get into it.

In general, you can expect a fireplace insert to last you around 15-20 years. Of course, this timeline can vary depending on how well you maintain your insert, so regular upkeep is essential. A fireplace insert's lifespan can also depend on how they operate, with wood-burning and gas tending to last the longest, so those may be options to consider.

As we begin, we will cover all things fireplace inserts and discuss their expected lifespan. Whether you're new to installing inserts or think it may be time for an update, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

A Natural Gas Insert Fireplace built with stone and wood, How Long Do Fireplace Inserts Last?

How Does A Fireplace Insert Work?

A fireplace insert is a fireproof box enclosed in cast iron or steel. You can install these into an already built fireplace, making them perfect for remodeling.

On top of that, a fireplace insert will work similarly to a stove, either gas, wood, or electric, so there are plenty of different kinds to choose from. Again, these aren't traditional fireplaces, but instead, pre-made boxes you can put into an existing fireplace structure.

Woman with cup of drink and book near fireplace at home

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Fireplace Insert?

In general, you can expect to pay between $2,000-$4,000 to replace a fireplace insert. Of course, this estimate includes your potential labor costs and the price of a new insert, so upgrading can be expensive.

This number can also depend on the condition of your current fireplace's structure, so if there is any cracking or deterioration, your final cost could be much more.

Which Kind Of Fireplace Insert Lasts The Longest?

You can usually expect a wood-burning fireplace insert to last you the longest. Generally, you can expect a wood-burning fireplace insert to stay usable for 20-30 years with good upkeep, while a gas insert can last around 10-15, so this is a significant difference.

That said, an electric fireplace insert usually lasts between 10-20 years on average, although it does require an additional space heater to be installed alongside it. Of these three, we recommend wood-burning inserts if you want something that will hold out for a while, although they are all good options.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Fireplace Insert?

For those of you in the market for a new fireplace insert, there are some factors to consider. In general, you want to choose a fireplace insert that will:

  • Have a high-efficiency heat output
  • Reduce your heating costs
  • Reduce your home's carbon footprint
  • Be customizable to your liking
  • Have low repair costs
  • Offer a choice of heat source/fuel

On top of these, you should also choose a fireplace insert that offers some level of coverage if you need a repair/replacement, so make sure to mention that while shopping.

Which Type Of Fireplace Insert Is Most Efficient?

Natural gas fireplace for home

A gas fireplace insert is the best way to go in terms of efficiency. Besides being relatively low maintenance, a gas insert doesn't require electricity to run, making a huge difference in energy consumption.

On top of that, a gas fireplace insert won't need a chimney to operate, which means fewer emissions into the air outside. Of course, gas inserts may not last you 30 years as a wood-burning option will, but they will be better for the planet and be less difficult to manage.

How Can I Make My Fireplace Insert More Efficient?

For anyone wanting to make their existing fireplace insert work more efficiently, this won't be too hard. To start, we recommend using glass doors for your insert, which will reduce the amount of heat loss out of your chimney.

You can also try purchasing a chimney fan or damper if your fireplace is wood-burning, as well as using burn dried firewood over other alternatives. Again, this can vary depending on how your insert operates, so everyone will be different.

How Hard Is It To Remove A Fireplace Insert?

Although it may seem complicated, removing a fireplace insert won't be very difficult. Most times, taking out your existing insert won't be more than disconnecting it from its power source and having a few friends help you lift it out, although you might want to leave this to a professional if your fireplace is electric.

As we mentioned, electric fireplace inserts will also have a space heater installed nearby, as well as intricate wiring, so unless you know what you're doing, we don't recommend removing it yourself.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Fireplace Insert?

Typically, you can expect to pay between $250-$600 to have someone remove your fireplace insert. On top of that, you will need an experienced plumber qualified to work with gas lines and an electrician to disconnect an insert from its fuel source, so this can be pricey.

Of course, this won't be the same for everyone, so if your fireplace insert is wood burning and doesn't have any additional technology/equipment beside it, you might only be spending a couple of hundred dollars.

How Do You Maintain A Fireplace Insert?

Fire in a fireplace in winter

A fireplace insert shouldn't be too needy when it comes to maintenance. Most often, regular cleaning and inspections will keep your insert running efficiently for years to come, so keeping track of these things is important.

With that said, a fireplace insert should be serviced annually, regardless of how it operates, which should only cost you around $100-$200. Furthermore, regular maintenance and good fireplace habits can end up saving you thousands on repairs down the road, which is something to consider.

How Much Does It Cost To Rebuild The Firebox In A Fireplace?

If the time comes to rebuild the firebox in your fireplace, this can be pretty expensive. Usually, the average price for a firebox rebuild ranges from $1,500 to $2,000, although spending much more is possible.

Again, you won't typically need to rebuild the firebox in your fireplace if you install an insert, but it's always good to plan and budget for whatever may come your way.

Do Fireplace Inserts Save Money?

Yes, it is possible for a fireplace insert to save you money. Of course, their upfront installation costs can be a bit intimidating, but once you have one ready and working, you should notice a cheaper energy bill.

Considering that using an insert can increase a fireplace's efficiency by 80%, this means that less gas, oil, or electricity is required to heat your home. On top of that, fireplace inserts can protect the actual structure of your fireplace, which in turn can save you money on any future maintenance or repairs.

Do Fireplace Inserts Give Off Heat?

Yes! Fireplace inserts do give off plenty of heat. Although they aren't technically the same as a traditional fireplace, your insert should have a sealed, airtight door system, which can improve how much heat your fireplace generates.

As we covered above, a fireplace insert can even work 80% more efficiently than a standard fireplace, which in turn means more heat for your home. Of course, between the various types of fireplace inserts, you'll have the most warmth with a gas or wood option, so that's something to think about.

Are Fireplace Inserts Worth The Money?

Modern minimalist apartment interior living room with fireplace

Overall, we would agree that fireplace inserts are worth the money. Considering that using an insert can improve your fireplace's efficiency and heat production, having one installed into your existing structure may be a great long-term investment.

It's also worth noting how fireplace inserts can last up to three decades if you keep them well-maintained, which is impressive. Furthermore, a fireplace insert can also lower your monthly energy bill, so we think they are certainly worth checking out.

To Wrap It All Up

Whether you have a fireplace insert or plan to get one, knowing their lifespan is essential. From what we found, a fireplace insert will typically last between 15 and 20 years, although some might even reach 30.

On top of that, fireplace inserts can fit into existing fireplace build-outs, making them perfect for remodeling. Having a fireplace insert in your home can also lower your energy consumption and bills each month, which makes installing one a great long-term option.

Regardless of what fireplace insert you choose, make sure to regularly clean yours, and don't forget to schedule an annual inspection.

Head over to these helpful related fireplace posts down below!

Do I Need A Special Thermostat For A Gas Fireplace?

How Often Should You Add Wood To A Fire In Fireplace?

Do Vented Fireplaces Need A Chimney? [Or How Else To Vent Them]

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