Can You Use A Fireplace Insert Outdoors?

Fireplace inserts have been convenient alternatives to traditional indoor fireplaces for over a century. Whether you’re looking for the original brand or one of the many inserts that have been improved through the years, you might be curious about using it outside. However, fear of rain, wind, and sun damage could steer you away from the idea.

You can use a fireplace insert outside if you have pre-built masonry with the proper dimensions. It’s best to protect the fireplace insert with an overhang to keep it out of sunlight, rain, and wind. Ensure there’s a chimney for the smoke or gas to escape unless you prefer a ventless fireplace.

Throughout this post, we’ll discuss what you should know about using outdoor fireplace inserts, what you can do to protect them from the weather or corrosion, and why people use these inserts outside rather than fire pits, and other alternatives.

What To Know Before Using A Fireplace Insert Outside

Before using a fireplace insert outside, it’s important to consider if you prefer a vented or vent-less model, always match the insert to the pre-existing masonry dimensions (unless you don’t have a spot yet), and protect it from rain and sunshine with an overhang. Make sure there’s enough space for a chimney if needed.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know beforehand:

Ventless Fireplace Inserts Don’t Need Chimneys

Ventless fireplace inserts let you have all of the benefits of a warm fireplace without a chimney. They come with sensors that turn off if too many fumes build up inside of the unit. However, ventless fireplaces look less traditional and often cost more than vented fireplace inserts.

Your Insert Must Match the Dimensions of the Masonry

According to Home Depot, fireplace inserts can be installed in almost all outdoor locations. Whether you have a massive masonry wall or a small slot for a fireplace, you’ll be able to find the perfect match if you follow the dimensions.

Always Weatherproof Your Fireplace Insert

Do your best to mount or install the fireplace insert in a weather-protected area of the yard. Rain, wind, and sunshine can corrode your fireplace insert by causing run, corrosion, deterioration, and discoloration. If you have a chimney, leave enough space to cut out a slot in the overhang.

Fireplace inserts are quite handy, regardless of your budget. They have plenty of benefits that make them the best choice for many homeowners. Whether you prefer a relaxing outside insert to stay warm every so often or a massive design to keep everyone’s attention, there’s an insert for you.

Why Do People Use Outdoor Fireplace Inserts?

People use outdoor fireplace inserts because they’re more efficient, affordable, and easier to maintain than traditional fireplaces. Furthermore, they can help reduce your carbon footprint by using less fuel over a long period of time. They also come in countless designs to match your outdoor appearance preferences.

You Can Upgrade a Fireplace Insert

Fireplace inserts can easily be removed and replaced with upgraded models. As long as they match the dimensions, you can keep replacing the fireplace insert as often as you’d like to. Traditional fireplaces stay where they are until you spend thousands of dollars to rip them out, install a new one, and repair the masonry.

Fireplace Inserts Are Fuel-Efficient

Many inserts consume less fuel and use it much more efficiently. Creative Energy explains that the efficiency of most fireplace inserts helps reduce your home’s carbon footprint by quite a bit. You don’t have to worry about sending too much carbon back into the atmosphere, especially if you use an electrical model.

Repairs Are as Easy as It Gets

Repairing the fireplace is much easier because you can remove the whole unit and work on it. Many of them are plug-and-play with a few connections and mounting hardware (which usually consists of screws, electrical wiring, and/or gas line hookups).

Fireplace Inserts Are Budget-Friendly

Fireplace inserts are almost always cheaper to purchase and maintain. These inserts aren’t installed as a part of a big wall inside or outside of the house. Maintenance doesn’t require removing excess parts, and the initial purchase only requires money for the fireplace insert, not the masonry, additional accessories, etc.

Using less fuel or electricity means you’ll save money on your monthly bills. If you’re interested in fireplace inserts and their benefits, read on to learn how to maintain them!

How To Care For A Fireplace Insert Installed In The Backyard

To care for a fireplace insert installed in the backyard, follow this step-by-step process:

  1. Vacuum or brush excess debris from the fireplace insert weekly. Arizona Tile shows how important regular cleaning sessions are for any fireplace, whether it’s an insert or permanent fixture. A wet vacuum can handle the rain, so you don’t have to worry about drying it off beforehand.
  2. Scrub any glass components while the fireplace is off and at room temperature. Never use cleaning chemicals on a fireplace insert if it’s hot; You’ll risk burning or staining the glass and other components. Use a soft sponge or magic eraser to get the soot and burn marks off of the insert.
  3. Hire a professional to deep clean the entire fireplace insert annually. If you want to get the most out of your fireplace insert, leave it to the pros to handle a yearly cleaning. They’ll unclog the chimney, fix the sensors, ensure you’re getting the best burn efficiency, and more. You’ll save much more money in the long run by preventing repairs.
  4. Cover the fireplace if it’s raining or snowing. As mentioned earlier on the page, the weather elements can severely damage a fireplace insert. If it’s raining or snowing and you’re not using the fireplace, cover it with a tarp or canopy umbrella. This small layer of protection will prevent rust and corrosion in the long run.


Now that you know how to care for an outdoor fireplace insert, you can find one that matches your masonry. Another option is to hire a contractor with the dimensions you’re looking for and ask for a handful of inserts to choose from. Either way, you’ll enjoy the insert’s convenience and ease of use.

Dan Westfield

Hi everyone! My name is Dan and I currently have two fireplaces, a wood-burning and a gas one. I cannot live without them and love to share my passion with you all!

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