In this video, Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor walks through the best options for home fireplaces.
1. Alan describes several fireplaces options including a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Alan says this should be for ambience only as it is only 15-percent efficient.
2. A gas log is another option, but is equally as inefficient as a traditional wood-burning fireplace at 15-percent. However, there is zero clean up involved.
3. A better option would be a gas-fueled insert into an existing fireplace. That runs at 70-80-percent efficiency.
4. For those without an existing fireplace, there’s a gas zero-clearance fireplace. That can be built into almost any wall and exhaust directly out of an exterior wall.
5. Alan also shows Kevin a standing gas-fueled oven. That can be placed almost anyway and vented through an exhaust pipe.
6. A pellet stove is fueled by sawdust pellets and runs on electricity. It’s convenient for someone looking to burn wood and more efficient than a traditional wood-burning fireplace. However, if you already have a gas option Alan recommends you stick with gas.
7. Finally, Alan shows Kevin several electric fireplace options. These fireplaces produce some heat, but are primarily for ambience. They do not need any venting.