3 Face vs 2 Face Insert

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New Member
Oct 30, 2023
Torrance, California
New to the forum so please forgive my lack of terminology. We are restoring an 1980s house and there is an opportunity to replace the single face wood burning fireplace with a single or 2 or 3 sided insert. The insert is for aesthetic purposes as we are using a heat pump for heating. I’ve been reading about double sided hearths and I see a lot of negative comments about smoke smell and air conditioning. We can leave the hearth as it is but the wife likes the idea of a fireplace that can be seen from 3 sides. Can anyone here comment on the pros and cons of 1/2/3 sided inserts?
We define inserts as a wood burning appliance that is installed in a code compliant masonry fireplace. I am not aware of any 2 or three sided inserts. There may be some zero clearance fireplaces like that. We define those as pre fab fireplace that does not need an existing masonry fireplace or chimney for installation
Yes, there are zero-clearance fireplaces like that. The con is that they rarely heat well, it's just for show. Superior and Napoleon make some. A google search will bring up several options. See if you can find models that have a ceramic glass enclosure and an outside air supply to reduce heat loss from the house. Make sure local ordinances permit the addition of a non-EPA fireplace and consider a gas fireplace if this is in an urban area.