1) Adding vented gas logs to existing wood burning fireplace – Vented gas logs are usually the most realistic visual burning option compared to a real wood fire. Vented logs are the least expensive option as well – varying between $400 to $1,000 per set, depending on the size of the fireplace, the log set chosen, the burner and other burning enhancements. The damper must be left open, therefore this is the least efficient option. For the customer that uses their fireplace occasionally or wants a fireplace that looks very realistic, gas logs are a very affordable and beautiful choice.
2) Adding vent-free gas logs – Vent-free gas logs use a burner that burns very clean and does not emit carbon monoxide, so the damper can be left closed. All the heat is kept in the home, so the vent-free logs are very efficient – on average from 92-99% efficient. The logs and burner are aesthetically pleasing, but not as realistic as vented logs. The average cost for a set of vent-free logs ranges from $600-$1,000.
3) Gas Insert – Gas inserts are complete systems that are installed into your existing wood burning fireplace. Gas inserts have different kinds of surrounds that will finish and upgrade the look of your existing fireplace. When installing a direct vent gas insert, a dual liner system is normally installed from your insert to the top of your chimney. It creates a seal that blocks water from outside and reduces cold air drafts from the chimney. Another advantage is that all combustion air for your gas insert comes from outside the home and all the exhaust is vented outside – which makes direct vent gas inserts very efficient (varying between 70-85% efficient). On average, cost between $2,500 - $4,000 (not including gas line).
4) Pellet Inserts – Pellet inserts (like pellet stoves) burn pellets of compressed sawdust. Pellet inserts require electricity and the installation of a liner. The consumer adds pellets to the hopper, sets the thermostat (also on most pellet stoves) and enjoys the heat – most pellet inserts and pellet stoves produce between 30,000 and 40,000 btu’s which is more than adequate to heat 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. On average, they cost between $3,000 and $4,000.
5) Wood inserts – Wood inserts are a great way to increase the efficiency and output of a masonry wood burning fireplace and also help reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil for heating. A wood insert installed in a home can use firewood between 18” – 24” long and generate between 50,000 – 80,000 btu’s. Adding a set of fans is optional and helps to circulate and project more heat from the unit into the home. With a wood insert, even during a power outage, your family can stay warm and comfortable. On average, they cost between $3,000 and $5,000.