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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, trying to decide what to do with my old, open masonry fireplace.

I had it in my head that a $2000 wood insert was the ticket, but, I am open to gas logs, especially if I can get the same heat, or better, for less cash.

I need help. :dunno:
 

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Hi-tech *******
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As long as there are trees to cut, or wood to burn, you will never be without some source of heat with the insert. Can't say the same if there is a disruption in gas service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Natural Gas service has been nearly flawless here for as long as I can remember. I know that it can fail, too. I'm weighing my options, for sure.
 

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If you like fake maple syrup over the real deal...

If you like the Camaro over the Corvette ...

If you like XXX over a Glock ...

Choose the gas logs. They're cheaper, easier to start, look nice at first, But

If you want the real thing...

An EPA rated insert with a full chimney liner will heat your house, provide a mental and physical workout (if you choose) and with a glass door, entertain you and your household for hours with an ever changing dance of the flame.

Ask me how I know...
 

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Nothing beats the smell of a wood burning fireplace
 

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fake fire or real fire. I think a commie must have invented the gas log because it is so unAmerican.
 

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If the initial investment is doable, consider a pellet insert. We have an Harman and love it, very warm and good looking.

Have had a gas fireplace, and it was actually very nice to own. True, not as cozy as a traditional fireplace but so much more convenient, and troublefree for years.
 

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Old & Grumpy
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We have a gas fireplace, it's too expensive to run. And as others have said, nothing beats the smell, and sound of real wood.
 

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My sister has a gas fireplace and that thing throws almost NO heat. A lot of gas fireplaces are made for looks only.

A wood fireplace can be used for heat AND cooking, if necessary. I'd go with wood myself.

Of course if I had my druthers, I'd get a coal stove and to hell with the fireplaces.
 

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I'm not the guy to ask, I'm a wood guy. I'd go with the insert as long as you can get wood without to much trouble/cost. Some folks don't like to deal with real wood though. I've had 2 inserts in previous houses,they were O.K., better than just a fireplace. I now have a full blown free standing woodstove.
 

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My sister has a gas fireplace and that thing throws almost NO heat. A lot of gas fireplaces are made for looks only.

A wood fireplace can be used for heat AND cooking, if necessary. I'd go with wood myself.

Of course if I had my druthers, I'd get a coal stove and to hell with the fireplaces.
My LP gas logs will run you out of my basement with out even putting them on high. I did make a box so the heat has to come out in the room and not go up and out the chimney :supergrin:
 

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If you like fake maple syrup over the real deal...

If you like the Camaro over the Corvette ...

If you like XXX over a Glock ...

Choose the gas logs. They're cheaper, easier to start, look nice at first, But

If you want the real thing...

An EPA rated insert with a full chimney liner will heat your house, provide a mental and physical workout (if you choose) and with a glass door, entertain you and your household for hours with an ever changing dance of the flame.

Ask me how I know...
Nothing like a real fire. We have a Jotul in our cabin and while there's no tidy up with gas logs, a real wood fire will give off more heat.
 

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IYAAYWOT
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Mrs. LTB and I just moved into a new home last summer. The house has a smallish fireplace (about 24" fire pot) that is rated for wood and had a gas starter pipe running under the grate. The fire pot didn't strike me as robust enough for a good wood fire, so we put in a split oak gas log system. We had our choice between vented and ventless. The ventless doesn't require the flue to be open and puts out a lot of heat, but it also is much more expensive. I was concerned about CO poisoning, but the dealer said that isn't much of a concern if the room is large.

We decided to go with the vented system. I don't run it at full power. After I light it, I back the flame down until it just laps over the top of the logs. The thing does put out some heat and will keep our living room toasty, which has been nice since our southern nights this winter have been in the low 20's and upper teens.

We were told the sand and the fake embers need replacing every 3 -4 years depending on usage, but the cost is nominal. With tax, our gas log system ran us $625. That's about three years of wood burning at my old place that had a large masonry fireplace.
 

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No comaparison, wood is the way too go as long as you can get it cheap or free. It's messy-dirty but the heat is there.

Gas logs are pretty, convient, and clean. But fossil fuel price is going up every season. around here it's up to $2.50/gal. :wow: You would have to burn alot of gas to get the comparable heat from wood.
 

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The gas insert in our house will heat the majority of my downstairs and upstairs and will burn you out if left on too long. It is not that expensive compared to the cost of firewood living the DFW area. Last house we had a good size wood fireplace and I burned allot of wood and it got rather expensive.
 

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Live Free
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Vent free gas logs are 99% efficient if you buy the good ones. And after working 10 hours you just hit a remote to get heat.
Gas logs won't caused a chimney fire,something you never want to hear,very similar to a jet engine noise.
 

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It all depends on what you want it to do. Pellet inserts are nice and throw some heat but if you loose power and have no generator then you loose the stove. If you want a heating unit and backup source of heat when the power goes out then wood and coal are the way to go.

If you have access to wood and the want/energy to cut, split, stack, haul and tend the stove in the middle of the night.....then wood is the way to go.

If you want a nice even heat, spend 10 minutes with the stove in the morning and the evening and get yourself 3 ton's of good anthracite coal and a Hitzer 503 insert and heat away. Coal prices have gone up in the last 5 years, but it's still the cheapest and most BTU's/pound.

I will add that I work for a small family run stove shop and we sell all four (wood, gas, pellet and coal) inserts.

I'm a little bias, and like everything else its your decision and your money so YMMV.
 

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If you are going to pay to run the gas fireplace you might just as well turn on the regular furnace. Should be able to get a better deal than 2K for a wood burner (used?) (buy in the summer?)
 

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I've used all three types: wood burning fireplace, gas logs (decorative) and gas log insert. I've also, when living on ten acres of land, heated our home mostly with a Jotel stove, so I have some experience in this matter. The answer is; it depends.

When young and healthy (I've a bum left arm now) I loved gathering, cutting, splitting and using wood. Lugging the stuff was no problem. In my current situation (I'm on Cape Cod on a small piece of land) I found the wood lugging situation (and cost) problematic. Tried gas logs. Was not happy with those at all. Very little heat generated. Indeed, whether on or off you lose heat through the fireplace (at least in MA) as they make you keep the flue sealed OPEN.

Fireplace insert: Best deal for me. I'm using it for my daytime home heating. I can alter heat between propane and oil, depending on costs involved. Looks great. Simple to operate.

Guess you'll have to evaluate your needs and make a decision that's right for you.

:wavey:
 
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