If you are considering a fireplace insert, understanding the type of fireplace you currently have is important. And it will help your local hearth dealer find the perfect insert for your fireplace, home and lifestyle.
Your fireplace is likely either masonry built, or zero clearance. Masonry built fireplaces are usually constructed of brick or stone with fireboxes made of the same material, creating a solid barrier between the fireplace and construction materials. Generally the firebox has little to no metal, and may or may not have doors. Zero clearance fireplaces, on the other hand, are manufactured fireboxes that are fire-rated to that no (zero) clearance is required between the firebox and construction materials like wood framing and sheetrock.
Example of a masonry-built fireplace
Example of a zero clearance fireplace
The image below provides more information to help you understand the difference between masonry built and zero clearance fireplaces. What kind of fireplace do you have?
Click here for larger version
With this knowledge, you can vision your local Heatilator, Heat & Glo or Quadra-Fire dealer
to investigate your options for inserts. And meanwhile, check out the various inserts here