Fireplaces vs. Fireplace Inserts: The Main Differences

brick wood fireplace insert using red and brown brick and a black metal frame

When it comes to adding a fireplace to your home, there are two main options: fireplaces and fireplace inserts. Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will outline the main differences between fireplaces and fireplace inserts. We will also discuss the benefits of each option so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your home.

If you’re located in or near Canton, MA, and need help deciding which type of fireplace is right for you, contact New England Hearth & Home!

What is a Fireplace Insert?

A fireplace insert, sometimes called a wood stove insert, is an appliance designed to be retrofitted into an existing traditional masonry or factory-built fireplace. It is a self-contained unit that includes a firebox, flue collar, and blower system. The insert is typically made of metal and is placed inside an existing fireplace, providing a more efficient and easy-to-maintain heating solution.

How Is a Fireplace Insert Different from a Fireplace?

If you are looking to add warmth to your home, both literally and in terms of aesthetics, fireplaces and inserts offer two distinct options. Determining which one is right for you depends on the size of your home, how big your budget is, the timeline you would like to complete the project, and many other factors.

Fireplace Inserts Are More Efficient for Heating Your Home

For many homeowners, the primary difference between a fireplace and an insert is efficiency. Fireplace inserts are designed to be much more efficient than traditional fireplaces, meaning they use less energy to generate the same amount of heat. The insert’s sealed combustion chamber and blower system help keep as much heated air in your home as possible.

Fireplace Inserts Are Easier to Maintain Than Fireplaces

Another significant difference between fireplaces and inserts is the level of maintenance required. Fireplace inserts require less ongoing maintenance because the combustion chamber keeps out debris and other materials that can cause fires or reduce efficiency. Fireplaces, on the other hand, need to be manually cleaned and serviced regularly.

Fireplace Inserts Can Be More Affordable Than Fireplaces

When it comes to cost, fireplace inserts are typically more affordable than fireplaces. On average, fireplace inserts can be purchased for much less than the cost of a traditional fireplace. Plus, since inserts are more efficient and require less maintenance than fireplaces, the savings can be even greater over time.

Fireplaces Offer an Aesthetic Appeal That Inserts Don’t

When it comes to aesthetic appeal, fireplaces create an environment that inserts cannot. Fireplaces are usually the focal point of a room, providing a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The flames dancing in a fireplace are often mesmerizing and can be quite beautiful.

Fireplaces Are Often More Durable & Long-Lasting

Fireplaces are typically more durable than inserts, meaning they can stand up to wear and tear better over time. The materials used to construct fireplaces are often more robust and longer-lasting than those used in inserts.

How to Determine Which Option Is Right for Your Home

When it comes to adding a fireplace or insert to your home, there are many factors to consider. Efficiency, maintenance requirements, cost, and aesthetics all come into play when making the decision. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully before making a purchase.

Although fireplaces are usually more durable and provide a beautiful atmosphere, fireplace inserts are typically more efficient, require less maintenance, and cost less. If you are looking for an option that is both cost-effective and aesthetically appealing, an insert may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a fireplace that will stand the test of time and create an atmosphere you can enjoy for years to come, a traditional fireplace may be your best option.

Contact New England Hearth & Home for Fireplace & Fireplace Insert Services in Canton, MA

At New England Hearth & Home, we offer a range of fireplace and fireplace insert services, including installation, maintenance, repair, and replacements. Our experienced team can help you determine which option is best for your home and budget, as well as help you find the perfect fireplace or insert to fit your needs. To learn more about our services, or schedule a consultation with us, visit our website or give us a call at 781-562-0771 to get started!

5 Backyard Upgrades for Fun in the Sun

The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and that can only mean one thing: summer is coming! If you’re like most people, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible outdoors in the sunshine. Why not make your backyard into a fun entertainment space? In this blog post, we will discuss upgrades you can add to your backyard to make it a great place to relax and have fun in the sun!

LED & Smart Landscape Lighting

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your backyard is to add some ambient lighting. This can be anything from string lights hung overhead to LED landscape lighting around your patio or pool area. Smart landscape lighting is a great option because you can control it with your smartphone or voice assistant. You can even set it on a timer so that it turns on and off automatically! Those with a pool in their backyard may also want to consider adding underwater lights for a beautiful effect.

Grills, Ovens, & Stove Appliances

Another great way to make your backyard a fun place to spend time is by installing an outdoor cooking space. An outdoor kitchen is the perfect place to entertain guests or simply enjoy a meal with your family. If you love to cook, an outdoor kitchen is a must-have for your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy the fresh air while you cook, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of the beautiful views.

Outdoor Dining Space

If you love to entertain, an outdoor dining space is a great addition to your backyard. Whether you choose to add a simple table and chairs or a more elaborate setup, an outdoor dining area is the perfect place to enjoy a meal with family and friends. You can even add an umbrella for shade on those hot summer days!

Comfortable Seating

No backyard is complete without comfortable seating. Whether you choose to add a few chairs around a fire pit or lounge chairs by the pool, comfortable seating is a must for any backyard. Outdoor furniture comes in a variety of materials, so you can choose something that fits your style and budget. Keep family members and guests safe to lounge in the shade by using a motorized awning.


Another great backyard upgrade is a firepit. A firepit is the perfect place to gather around with friends and family for some marshmallow roasting or simply to enjoy the warmth on a cool night. You can even find firepits that come with built-in seating so that you can relax and enjoy the flames.

Contact Us for Outdoor Kitchen Design & Installation Services in Canton, MA

Whether you’re looking for a simple backyard upgrade or a complete outdoor kitchen, the experts at New England Hearth & Home can help. We offer a variety of services, including design and installation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, or come visit our showroom in Canton, MA.

Fireplace Design Ideas for 2022

What’s better on a cold winter night than a cozy fireplace? There’s something about the ambiance that comes with a fire that simply can’t be matched. Fireplaces have been used in homes for almost as long as homes have existed! For the longest time, they were actually the only source of heat and provided a cooking surface. In 2022, a fireplace is less of a necessity and more of a design choice. Consider implementing some of these trendy design ideas to bring your fireplace into the modern age. 

Statement Mantle 

Fireplace mantles used to only go as high as they needed to for a functional fireplace, but why not take it a bit further? Extending the mantle all the way to the ceiling is a gorgeous way to create a focal point in any room. The continuous mantle makes the space feel larger and more luxurious than a smaller mantle would in the same space. This type of design looks especially stunning when timeless marble slabs are used. 

Natural Stone 

Natural stone is a popular choice for mantle materials as we head into 2022. Stick to the lighter-colored stones to maintain a modern, airy feel. Natural stone elements are the perfect way to make the home feel cozy without compromising on style. As an added bonus, natural stone matches everything! 

Keep it Minimal 

Hectic fireplace design is a thing of the past. Instead of an intricate tile pattern, consider a less is more approach for your fireplace design. Using simple materials in a basic pattern allows the fire itself to be the statement piece. A minimalistic fireplace that features crisp edges, neutral tones, and a mantel that goes to the ceiling is going to Wow anyone who enters the home. 

Functional Placement 

If you don’t have a lot of space for a huge, wood-burning fireplace, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some flames. Gas fireplaces can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit into just about any space. Installing a gas fireplace right below your mounted flat-screen TV is just one example of adding a fireplace without taking up too much space. The gas fireplace itself will only take up a small area of the wall below the TV, but the beauty and functionality it brings will be immeasurable! 

Learn More About Fireplace Design & Get a Quote

Keeping your fireplace trendy in 2022 is easier than you think. Rather you’re trying to rework your current design and bring it into the modern age or add a brand-new fireplace to your home, just trust the process! Contact New England Hearth & Home to schedule a consultation with a fireplace design expert. Our team can help you decide what fireplace design options are the best fit for the current trends and your personal style all at the same time. 

How to Decorate Your Fireplace During The Summer

summer fireplace

It’s summertime, and while that means you most likely will not be preparing and lighting any fires (unless you have an unusually cold night), there’s no need to just completely neglect your fireplace until it gets chilly again. Rather than letting your fireplace become a vacant corner of your common space, with a little added effort and thought, your unlit fireplace can easily be transformed into a useful and decorative space that adds character to your home. Whether you’re looking for a simple one time solution for the summer, or you’re down for a more involved temporary transformation, we’re here to help with the top suggestions on how to make the most of your space this summer.

Stack Logs or Light Candles

This is one of the most common ways to decorate the empty space, and let others know that you are ready to go and fire up your hearth as soon as it cools down. You can also paint the logs fun colors for an even more vibrant and fun effect. Another common choice is to add a unique decorative candle holder and light candles at night time. This gives you a similar effect as a full fire but without all the heat. It is also a great way to bring in some summery scents and add light to your home. This is one of the easiest ways to decorate your fireplace, the setup takes no time at all and it won’t be a hassle to take down.

Install Art or Plant Life

Sculptures, paintings, glass blowings, if you’ve got a taste for art you definitely have options. This is a great way to add a more personal touch to your fireplace during the summer, still without too much setup or work. If you like, you can also add plans with decorative pots or vases to give you both art and beautiful growing plant life side by side. Mirrors are also a popular choice as they reflect light and are very easy to set up.

Create a Mini Theatre

This option is a little more involved, but is still easy enough and doesn’t require much skill. Many people love watching movies on projectors but they don’t always have a free wall to place it on. To perform this transformation, simply drape a heavy sheet white sheet or cardstock background over the fireplace, pick up a projector and adjust it until the frame is the right size. Before you know it you’ll have the perfect mini theatre in your home for movie night.

Convert it Into a Bookshelf

Adding a bookshelf into your fireplace is a great option for the summer, or year round if you have a nonfunctional decorative fireplace with no chimney. Simply clean the fireplace thoroughly, and add shelving as you see fit for both the space and the amount of books you wish to store.