One of the most popular ways to update the look of your fireplace and to convert your fireplace to a different fuel type is to install a fireplace insert. Many fireplace inserts are smaller than your fireplace’s firebox, and this size difference can create problems. At Bart Fireside, our insert installation technicians have years of experience, and we know why a correctly sized fireplace insert matters. We would like to share why it is so important to have your fireplace insert professionally sized and installed.
When the firebox of the insert is smaller than the masonry firebox, the flue may be disproportionately large. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a chimney draft is created like a tornado when a cold front hits a warm front. Venting into an oversized flue is similar to pouring a boiling hot cup of water into s sink filled with cold water. Cooler temperatures cause smoke to linger and possibly drop below the dew point, which can cause the rapid accumulation of creosote deposits.
The Dangers of Creosote
Varying in appearance, creosote is either black or brown in color and can be hard and shiny, sticky and tar-like, or crunchy and brittle. No matter what it looks like, creosote is a highly flammable compound that is formed during the condensation process when smoke exits the chimney. Smoke can condense inside the firebox and the smoke chamber and can produce a hard, ceramic-like glaze of condensed creosote. This glaze is extremely hazardous, difficult, and expensive to clean. This glaze can also deteriorate your masonry materials with the acid levels it contains. Cleaning out these creosote deposits is essential to protect your house from a dangerous chimney fire.
Smoke Residence Time
Ideally, the shortest amount of time smoke spends in your chimney flue is the best. To accomplish a short smoke residence time, the properly sized and insulated vent pipe that came with the insert should be used when installing the insert. You can count on Bart Fireside to only use the correct parts when we install your new fireplace insert.
Solution to Properly Fit an Insert
The best way to install a fireplace insert into an existing larger fireplace is to also install a sturdy and durable stainless steel liner from the top of the stove to the top of the chimney. Providing the best efficiency, the chimney liner also makes it easier to sweep and inspect. Another benefit of this chimney liner is it is an easy and economical way to prolong the life of your chimney because the new liner protects your chimney from deterioration from heat and acid-based smoke condensation.
If you are wanting to update your fireplace with an insert, contact Bart Fireside today. Our technicians will be sure to install it correctly and safely.