Is a Gas Insert right for you?
GAS INSERTS get installed into existing wood fireplaces, masonry or prefab will not matter for these, they are fully enclosed units that offer high efficiencies and great heating. They have lots of different options that you can select from including; a fan, remote, with a range from 2 or more different medias/liners/surrounds. Depending on size gas inserts can heat up to an average 1,100 sq ft, in most cases(manufacture depending) the turn down on the lowest flame height setting will be half. Following Wisconsin State codes gas inserts will use your existing chimney system and will have 2 stainless steel liners, one for exhaust and one for fresh air intake, with a termination cap at the top of the flue tile. There are some gas inserts that can be 'direct vent' which means the venting will only go up as high as needed before terminating out of the side of the chimney provided it will be outside and not in an enclosed space. A gas insert will change the look and size of your fireplace; if you have doors or a screen those will get removed when installing a gas insert before the insert can be placed. The gas insert surround is designed to be larger than your fireplace opening and rest just past. This is because the insert has to be small enough to allow room for the connections of the gas, electric and venting which leaves unoccupied space and the surround will cover that. Surrounds are removable for maintenance/servicing reasons, in some cases based on the surround, the screen can be removed separately. A safety screen comes with all gas insert as a federal standard, their appearance will depend on the manufacturer.
Gas inserts are a great option if you are looking for something that will have high efficiencies, produce heat value and you already have an existing wood fireplace.