Fireplace insert installation costs $700–$6,500.
Inserts are a great way to produce more heat and reuse a pre-existing fireplace.
Fireplace inserts come in four different types: wood-burning, gas, electric, and pellet.
Gas fireplace inserts are the most energy- and cost-efficient.
A fireplace insert installation costs between $700 and $6,500—the cost essentially depends on the type of insert and how it operates.
As the weather gets cold, you may want a cheerful fire crackling in your fireplace to cozy up to on those long winter nights. But you might find it’s not so convenient—it can get messy dragging wood logs into your home, not to mention that a lot of the heat is going straight up the chimney. If you want to get the most out of your fireplace and start it up with just a push of a button, it might be time for you to learn how to install a fireplace insert—or hire a pro to do it. Here are the fireplace insert cost factors to know before installing.
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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Fireplace Insert?
Installing a fireplace insert requires hooking up vent pipes and electrical or gas supply. Installation averages around $500 and $3,500, depending on the job's complexity.
Fireplace inserts offer multiple benefits over a traditional fireplace with proper installation—a fireplace contractor and installer near you can help you get the job done.
Fireplace Insert Installation Cost Breakdown
The cost to install a fireplace insert depends on your home layout, current fireplace setup, and your fireplace insert preferences. Here is a breakdown of the main factors that determine the final cost.
The fireplace inserts come in different sizes depending on the size of the area you need to heat up. The bigger the size of the insert, the more it costs.
An 18-inch fireplace insert that can heat an area of 100 square feet or less costs $500, while a 36-inch insert that can heat up to 2,000 square feet costs up to $2,000.
Fireplace inserts have different installation protocols depending on the type. The type of insert plays a major role in the final price. The following is a list of average cost ranges for each fireplace insert type:
The labor cost to install a fireplace insert depends on what it’s powered by: wood, propane, pellets, or electricity. Some inserts cost more than others, such as wood-burning or gas inserts. Wood-burning or gas inserts require hook-ups to the chimney or utility lines. Here’s the different labor cost to install each type of fireplace insert:
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When installing your new insert, you may have to pay extra expenses to connect electric and gas lines, as well as clean and complete any necessary repairs to your wood-burning fireplace system to prepare for the insert. Because you’re using one or more fuel sources, you’ll need to ensure everything is up to the local building code and work with a licensed pro.
Keep an extra $200 to $1,000 in your budget for any unexpected work and to cover these additional costs that may come up.
Cost to Install a Fireplace Insert Yourself
While fireplace inserts may seem easy to install (especially if they are pre-built), you’ll want to consider hiring a licensed fireplace installer to take care of the installation of your fireplace. A pro will correctly install the insert, make any necessary structural adjustments to your home, hook up your fireplace to the gas and electricity lines, and ensure everything’s code-compliant.
Tips to Reduce Cost While Installing a Fireplace Insert
Installing an insert is a great way to minimize maintenance and use an existing fireplace system and masonry. While you may pay more money upfront for installation, a gas fireplace insert can help save money on heating costs, especially when taking the place of a wood-burning fireplace or expanding heating-area coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fireplace inserts are essentially wood, gas, or electric stoves designed to fit into an existing masonry fireplace. People opt to install inserts because traditional fireplaces can lose a lot of heat, require more maintenance, and may impact indoor air quality.
A fireplace insert installer near you can help you decide which brand and size fit your home.
Installing a fireplace insert can get you more heat without replacing the whole fireplace and chimney. Other benefits include:
Convenience: An insert can make your fireplace turn on and off with a simple flip of a switch and will continue running until it's turned off. Some models have timers or automatic shutoffs. You can also control the temperature and flame height.
Safety: There is no risk of the fire burning out if you forget to add more logs. Plus, most models come with sensors to automatically turn off the fireplace if carbon monoxide is detected.
Aesthetically appealing: Fireplace inserts come in different designs to fit all styles, from modern to rustic.
Chimney-free: Electric and ventless gas inserts are energy efficient and don't require a chimney.
Minimal maintenance required: All you need is to keep it clean (similar to cleaning an oven) and do an annual checkup, which might cost $50 to $150. Make sure to follow your insert’s manufacturer guidelines.
Wood, gas, and electric fireplaces have their pros and cons. Here’s what to know to help you choose between the different types of fireplace inserts.
Wood-Burning Fireplace Inserts
Wood fireplace inserts produce more heat without replacing the whole system. A fireplace installer can verify that you have a connector and chimney system to fit the wood-burning insert.
Gas Fireplace Inserts
If you find hauling wood logs messy and exhausting, a gas fireplace insert is an alternative to consider. Gas fireplace inserts require less maintenance and are an efficient way to produce warmth. Some can also produce heat in the event of a power outage.
Electric Fireplace Inserts
Because electric fireplace inserts don't have a real open flame, they produce flames that mimic a real fire surrounded by artificial logs with LED light. Many electric fireplace inserts produce heat from glowing elements while only using electricity.