The image on the left is a standard masonry woodburning fireplace, which is great for creating ambiance but is one of the most inefficient heat sources a homeowner can use. To achieve greater convenience and boost the fireplace's efficiency by up to 85 percent, this homeowner converted their old masonry fireplace into high-efficiency gas insert as pictured on the right.
Operating at a flip of a switch, gas fireplace inserts offer you the greatest level of convenience. With a gas fireplace insert you'll no longer have to deal with the hassles of cleaning ash or hauling wood into the home. Gas fireplace inserts consist of a gas log set installed in a steel or ceramic molded firebox with two flexible vent pipes that run to the outside through the existing chimney. Many units have fans to assist heat movement into the room and are available with wall-mounted thermostats or remote controls so you can program them for automatic operation like your furnace. Thanks to their high efficiency, direct vent gas fireplace inserts can pay for themselves in a matter of a few years through lower heating bills.