This article will explain how to choose the right size and install an electric fireplace insert inside of an existing masonry fireplace.
There are two types of electric inserts - firebox inserts and log inserts. Here we will discuss the firebox inserts.
Before buying your electric insert, measure the height, the width and the depth of your existing fireplace. Since most of the electric inserts are 8.5-10" deep, measure the width of your fireplace opening at 8-10" deep as well. All masonry fireplaces get narrower towards the back.
When you have these dimensions, you need to find the inserts that have overall height and width (including the front trim or frame) as close to the height and width of your fireplace as possible. It is better if the trim or frame is a little bit bigger than your fireplace opening rather than smaller. If overall dimensions are smaller, you will have to figure out how to close the gaps - make or order extra trim (like in the video below).
The second dimensions you need to check are those of the firebox itself. You need to make sure that these dimensions are less or equal to the width and height at 10" depth inside of your fireplace opening. This will make sure that you have enough room to slide the firebox in.
If the width is right but the height of the firebox is slightly less you will be able to level it using included leveling bolts on the bottom of most models of inserts. But if the height is sufficiently less, you might need to make a platform to set the firebox on and center it in the middle of your fireplace opening (like in the video below)
Now, when we have the right firebox, let's move on to installation.
All the steps discussed further are also pictured in the diagram below. Please note that they may be slightly different depending on a particular brand of the electric insert. Refer to the product manual of your electric insert for details.
Before you start the installation, make sure the insert functions correctly - plug it in, play with heat and lights, if everything works, move on with the installation.
A cover plate secured with silicon is necessary before installing and electric fireplaces insert. This cover plate will prevent water from coming in if your chimney doesn't have a rain cap.
It is recommended to close and seal the damper of your masonry fireplace to prevent drafts and loss of heat.
All electric fireplace insert plug into standard household power outlets. If you want to keep the area around your fireplace free of hanging cords, you will need to install an outlet inside of your existing fireplace.
Simply slide the firebox inside of the opening of your fireplace, center, and level it. You might need to adjust the leveling screws if those are available with your model of the electric insert. Some inserts will have tie-down brackets that you will need to attach to the fireplace floor and the back of the insert on both sides to secure your insert from tipping.
The last step is attaching the trim or the frame that will cover the gaps between the insert and the walls of the fireplace opening. Some inserts come with glass frames, others with metal trim. You can also use your own custom trim (like in the video)
We hope you found this guide helpful. Please reach out if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
The insert shown in the video can be found here: Dimplex 33" Electric Firebox DF3033ST
Continue Reading: Electric Fireplace Buying Guide