Fireplace FAQs

Learn about the different types of fireplaces.

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Wood Fireplace Inserts

Wood Fireplace Inserts

What Is A Wood Fireplace Insert & How Is It Different From A Wood Fireplace?

A wood fireplace insert may be the perfect option for you, if you can’t imagine enjoying a fire without the look and feel of real wood, but long for a cleaner, more efficient fire. A UL-listed wood appliance and liner system, a wood fireplace insert is custom-fit and installed into your existing fireplace. Unlike traditional open fireplaces, wood fireplace inserts are highly efficient and designed to bring maximum heat with minimal emissions.

Why Choose An Enviro Or Regency Wood Fireplace Insert?

Dedicated to bringing homeowners the best wood fireplace inserts by pairing quality craftsmanship with the latest technology, Enviro and Regency are two of the most trusted, high-quality brands in the industry. Some of the benefits of choosing a Regency or Enviro fireplace insert are:

  • Stop drafts.
  • Provide warmth of a wood fire without the waste associated with a traditional open fireplace.
  • Provides more complete combustion, causing longer burn times (up to 10 hours), increased heat, and less waste.
  • Highly efficient, clean-burning appliances approved by the EPA.
  • Produce significantly lower emissions than traditional fireplaces, resulting in cleaner air and a healthier, cleaner environment.
  • Distribute heat evenly throughout your home.
  • More affordable than a full fireplace rebuild.

Other features of an Enviro or Regency wood fireplace insert include: radiant ceramic glass, cool-to-the-touch handles, and easy-to-control adjustable heat, resulting in higher efficiency and lower heating bills.

Whether your space is large or small, wood fireplace inserts make great zone heaters for your home. Regency and Enviro wood fireplace inserts are capable of heating large spaces up to 3,000 square feet.Enviro boasts efficiency levels upwards of 80%, while Regency wood fireplace inserts have similar efficiency levels at 70%. Available in a variety of styles, you should be able to find the right fit for you, whether your style is classic or contemporary.

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Why Invest In A Freestanding Wood Stove?

Freestanding wood stoves can be a great option for homeowners who lack a masonry chimney but want to add heat and charm to a space in their home. Unlike stove inserts, freestanding stoves aren’t retrofitted into an existing fireplace. Instead, these appliances can be installed just about anywhere, making them ideal additions for guest rooms, master suites, and just about any other room in the home.

All American Chimney Service’s team is proud to offer homeowners throughout the greater Louisville, KY area the best of the best freestanding wood stoves from Enviro and Regency. We’ve carefully researched and tested the many different brands and options out there and in our opinion, nothing beats the freestanding stoves manufactured by Enviro and Regency.

Enviro & Regency Freestanding Wood Stoves — Where Technology & Convenience Come Together

Enviro and Regency are known for their commitment to creating the most efficient and environmentally-friendly wood stoves possible. Using technology that burns in stages ensuring a more complete combustion, Enviro and Regency freestanding wood stoves give you more heat, longer burn times (12-30 hours of continuous burn with some models), and efficiency levels over 80%. Instead of heating unoccupied areas of the home, these appliances are great zone heaters, making it easy to heat the room you’re in. Technology and convenience combine to bring you a real wood fire that you can enjoy for hours, without the guilt of releasing emissions into the air.

What’s So Great About Zone Heating?

Why crank up the heat and spend more money heating the whole house when you can choose to heat the rooms you spend the majority of your time in? Freestanding wood stoves allow you to heat your most frequently used rooms, saving you money on utilities.


Benefits Of A Freestanding Wood Stove

A freestanding wood stove might be the best option for you if:

  • You’re looking to add zone heat to a room in your home that lacks a masonry fireplace and chimney.
  • You want to be able to enjoy a wood fire, but don’t want the emissions and waste of a traditional open wood fireplace.
  • You love the traditional charm and look of a stove.

One of the best things about Enviro and Regency is the versatility in their design. These cost-effective appliances are available in a variety of styles and sizes. Regardless of the room, whether more modern and in need of a contemporary-looking appliance or a more traditional style, you’re sure to find a stove that’s just the right fit for your decor and space.

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Click the button below to contact our team if you need assistance or have more questions about freestanding wood stoves. We are always ready and happy to help!

Freestanding Wood Stove
Factory-Built Fireplaces

What Are Factory Built Fireplaces?

Factory Built Fireplaces are:

Factory built fireplaces are metal and refractory brick fireplaces that are designed to operate in conjunction with a U.L. tested metal chimney system. Unlike fireplace inserts, factory built fireplaces are not retrofitted into existing masonry fireplaces. Because factory built fireplace systems are prefabricated or built in the factory, they have some advantages over masonry fireplaces.

Some of those advantages are:

  • You don’t have to worry about hours and hours of labor and construction by a mason inside of your home, which can be costly and disruptive.
  • Factory built fireplaces are designed and manufactured, so you know what your fireplace will look like before it is installed in your home.
  • Factory built fireplaces are typically built of lightweight materials designed to resemble your favorite stone or brick. Since these materials are lightweight, factory built fireplaces can be installed in rooms that don’t have the footing to support the weight of a masonry fireplace.
  • Factory built fireplaces are typically more efficient than traditional open fireplaces.
  • You don’t have to worry if you don’t have a masonry chimney, because factory built fireplaces are U.L. tested to work with a prefabricated chimney.

However, there are some advantages masonry fireplaces have over factory built fireplaces, like length of service life. Although factory built fireplaces are typically more affordable than masonry fireplace construction, masonry fireplaces can last decades when well cared for, while factory built fireplaces will need to be replaced at some point.

How Long Do Factory Built Fireplaces Last & Why Do They Need To Be Replaced?

Factory built fireplaces are more like ovens, dishwashers, and other appliances you expect to replace, because they are made of metal components susceptible to rust and part failure. On average, factory built fireplaces last 20-30 years when well-maintained. Typically these systems are replaced rather than repaired because it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find replacement parts, especially if the manufacturer is no longer in business.

Why Choose A Superior Factory Built Fireplace?

Our team of professionals has been installing and maintaining factory built fireplaces for years and has seen the different levels of quality and craftsmanship out there.We’re proud to offer our customers Superior factory built fireplaces, which are just that – superior. You’ll enjoy more flames per BTU, faster installation, and reduced emissions with Superior factory built fireplaces. Superior offers both gas and wood-burning fireplaces in a variety of styles and designs from modern see-through or multi-view units, to beautiful stone styles, or plain and simple classic units. Whatever you’re after, we’ll help you find the perfect factory-built fireplace for your space.

Is Installation A DIY Thing?

Installing a new factory built fireplace by yourself is not encouraged. These systems are only U.L. tested and approved as safe when they are installed and used exactly as intended by the manufacturer. For your safety, the manufacturer’s instructions MUST be followed to the letter. Professional installation is typically required, as well, if you want your warranty to be honored.

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Click the button below to contact our team if you need assistance or have more questions about factory built fireplaces. We are always ready and happy to help!

How Are Gas Logs Different From Gas Fireplace Inserts And Factory Built Gas Fireplaces?

They Are Different Because...

When it’s time to upgrade your hearth, it can be difficult to determine just what’s right for you and your home — but we’re here to help. We have extensive experience and can answer any questions you may have as you shop for your next heating appliance.

One of the most commonly asked questions is, “What are gas logs and how are they different from gas fireplace inserts and factory built gas fireplaces?” While gas fireplace inserts and factory built gas fireplaces typically have gas logs in their fireboxes (with the exception of models that boast glowing embers or glass), gas log sets can also be installed directly in open fireplaces. Why have gas logs installed? The most common reasons to opt for a gas log set are:

  • You want to convert your masonry fireplace from wood burning to gas, but don’t want a gas fireplace insert.
  • You have a gas log set in your fireplace now, but are looking to update with a new, more authentic-looking log set.

Gas log sets can be installed in your masonry or factory built firebox; but not all gas logs work the same way, so it’s important to determine which is best for you and your home before you begin shopping.

What Are Vented & Vent-Free Gas Logs?

Vented Gas Logs

Vented gas logs rely on your chimney to properly vent the gases produced during combustion. For this reason, vented log sets are really only an option if your existing chimney is in good working order. These log sets are typically considered to produce a larger, more authentic-looking flame. If you aim to have a fire that looks like a real wood burning fire, vented gas logs are the way to go.

If high heat output is your goal, vented gas logs probably aren’t your best bet. Unlike a gas insert that pulls outside air in for combustion, they use the conditioned air in your home. While it will warm up the area near the hearth nicely, it typically cools other parts of the home as it pulls air from these areas for combustion. An open fireplace can be viewed as a big fan, which consumes between 200 and 600 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air and sends it up and out the chimney flue.

Room Vented Gas Logs AKA Vent-Free Gas Logs

Room-vented gas logs require a working chimney. If your chimney is damaged, vent-free or room-vented may not be worth considering. Homeowners like room-vented logs because they are good heat producers. However, vent-free gas logs aren’t known for their realistic flames, and these log sets produce water vapor, which can lead to problems with mildew or mold.

Because vent-free gas logs need a lot of oxygen and produce carbon monoxide and odors that do not exit through a chimney, you’ll need to make sure you have a window open or a complex system of vents to provide fresh air to the area when your logs are in use. Even then, manufacturers limit use to no more than 2 consecutive hours. For your safety and health, you will also need an oxygen depletion system (ODS) as well as a carbon monoxide detector in whichever room you have your gas logs installed.

Today’s Gas Log Sets Are Available In Endless Styles & Are More Realistic-Looking Than Ever

There are countless design options to choose from no matter which type of gas log you decide on. From white birch, driftwood, to traditional oak, there’s a gas log set to fit every home decor and style. You will find that today’s gas log sets are incredibly realistic looking – a far cry from the early models.

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Click the button below to contact our team if you need assistance or have more questions about gas logs and fireplace inserts. We are always ready and happy to help!

Gas Log Differences
What Is A Gas Fireplace

What Is A Gas Fireplace Insert & How Is It Different From A Gas Fireplace

They Are Different Because...

A gas fireplace insert is a UL-listed gas appliance and liner system that’s fitted and installed into an existing fireplace. A gas fireplace insert is classified as a room heater, whereas a traditional open fireplace is considered a decorative appliance. Heat-wise, you can expect more from your fireplace insert. If you’re looking for a hearth appliance that will really ‘pack a punch’ and provide great zone heating without compromising the environment or your indoor air quality, a gas fireplace insert may be the right thing for you. At All American, we proudly offer our clients Valor direct vent gas inserts. What makes these so great?

Why Choose A Valor Direct Vent Gas Insert?

A Valor direct vent appliance is rightfully known as a “smart fireplace.” Installing one of these appliances is one of the smartest decisions you can make when upgrading your hearth. Unlike traditional open fireplaces, the Valor direct vent fireplace pulls air from outside of the home through an engineered flue system. The air is fed to the fireplace for the combustion process and then siphoned back up the chimney and vented outside. Because there is never a point where combustion products enter the home, this is referred to as a sealed system.

These inserts are the perfect option for those with sensitivity to fumes produced by a traditional open fireplace or those who may be having functionality issues with their existing fireplace system. Some of the key benefits of Valor direct vent gas fireplace inserts:

  • They’re much more efficient than traditional or vent-free fireplaces.
  • They protect the integrity of the indoor air quality by keeping combustion products out of the air supply.
  • They don’t use your conditioned indoor air for combustion, so you aren’t funneling money up your chimney.
  • They don’t require you to have a window open in the room they’re installed in when in use, while vent-free appliances do.
  • They can run for 24 hours a day if needed, while a vent-free appliance can only run for 2 hours max.
Lower Heating Expenses? Yes, Please!

Valor direct vent gas fireplace inserts are great zone heaters, because they can be used to heat spaces up to 2,000 square feet. Why heat your entire home when you could simply heat the area you are currently occupying? By using your direct vent gas fireplace insert to achieve zone heating, you could see a significant reduction in your home’s heating expenses.

Enjoy Heat During A Power Outage

With a Valor direct-vent gas fireplace insert, you’re taken care of in the event of a power outage. These “No Power, No Problem” smart fireplaces operate on battery power, which can provide up to 36,000 BTUs of emergency heat. Valor fireplaces have engineered natural convection, the process of heat rising and leaving the heat source as cold air comes into the heat source. This cold air enters through the bottom, filters through the convective heat chambers, and cycles out into the home as warm air, with no noisy fan required and no electrician needed. Valor units are designed with neo-ceramic glass, which provides radiant heat much like when sunlight enters through a window and lands on your skin. You wouldn’t enjoy this benefit with a builder-grade unit as Builder-grade units typically have tempered glass.

Need help?

Click the button below to contact our team if you need assistance or have more questions about gas fireplace inserts and gas fireplaces. We are always ready and happy to help!

How Does Ahren-Fire Restore Masonry Fireplace Systems?

Ahren-Fire Restoration Works like this...

This all-in-one fireplace system is installed inside of your existing fireplace and designed to quickly usher byproducts and smoke up the chimney, while reflecting the heat of the fire into the room. The shape, design, and insulation of the system, ensures proper clearance from combustibles and adherence to safety codes, as well as protects against draft problems, and heat loss. Each component is engineered and designed to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. The entire system is U.L. tested, and when professionally installed, you can expect the highest levels of safety and efficiency from your Ahren-Fire Restoration.

Will The Ahren-Fire Restoration Affect The Appearance Of My Fireplace Facing?

One of the best things about the Ahren-Fire Restoration System is that you can vastly improve your fireside experience without altering your fireplace facing. The entire system fits inside of your existing firebox and chimney, so your beautiful stone, brick, or stucco fireplace facing will be left completely undisturbed.

When Is An Ahren-Fire Restoration A Good Idea?

There are several situations in which you may benefit from an Ahren-Fire Restoration:

  • If your masonry fireplace is not up to current safety codes (ie. You don’t have proper clearance from combustibles).
  • If you are constantly battling draft issues and smoke problems.
  • If your fireplace is so wasteful that your home actually feels colder, not warmer, when a fire is lit.
  • If you want more radiant heat from your fireplace.
  • If the performance of your fireplace leaves much to be desired, but you don’t want to invest in a full rebuild.
  • You love the look and facing of your fireplace, but want greater efficiency and greater heat output.
What Do You Need To Qualify For An Ahren-Fire Restoration?

The Ahren-Fire Restoration System can work for you and your home as long as you have at least 4” of solid masonry in the flooring and walls of your fireplace. Available in a variety of sizes, we’re confident we can help you get more heat from your fireplace with Ahren-Fire, no matter how big or small your system may be.

Want To Learn More About The Ahren-Fire Restoration System? Give Us A Call!

If you’d like to learn more about the Ahren-Fire Restoration System or take a look at the many options we have for restoring or upgrading your fireplace, give us a call at 502-435-2364. We can set up an appointment to have you meet with one of our fireplace experts today!

Need help?

Click the button below to contact our team if you need assistance or have more questions about Ahren-Fire Restoration. We are always ready and happy to help!

Ahren Chimney


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"Phillip and Joe were excellent. Very professional and knowledgeable. Answered all my questions. I have used All American before and found them to be the best. My oldest stone chimney was built in 1790. If you want it done right call them. You will be glad you did."

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"Christian was one of the best service providers I have ever had! He was on time, professional, and just a really nice person. He explained everything in detail to me and answered any questions I had. I also have a very friendly dog who took a liking to him and he was so generous giving her all the pets! I would highly recommend using All American Chimney Service for all your fireplace and chimney needs!"

- Adi S.

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