How to Choose a Home Fireplace

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Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor explores the best options for home fireplaces. (See steps below.)

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Steps for How to Choose a Home Fireplace:
1. Alan describes several fireplace options, including a traditional wood-burning fireplace. This should just be for ambience as it is only 15% efficient.
2. A gas log is as inefficient as a traditional wood-burning fireplace, at 15%, but requires zero cleanup.
3. A better option would be a gas-fueled insert in an existing fireplace. That runs at 70% to 80% efficiency.
4. For those without an existing fireplace, there’s a gas zero-clearance fireplace that can be built into almost any wall and will exhaust directly out of an exterior wall.
5. Alan also shows Kevin a standing gas-fueled oven. That can be placed almost anywhere 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 produce some heat but are primarily for ambience. They do not need venting.

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Malongus says:


William Knight says:

Amazing a fireplace company saying just get a gas unit,,,, the point of a fireplace is beauty and don’t need electricity or gas

Jason Williams says:

*”I miss the real fireplace that I had in my last house so this is a good substitute. It looks very realistic beside my dog LOVE it So  you can see it here >>>****  .”*

Peter Mura says:

Seller makes no mention of zero-clearance wood burning fireplaces. Some manufacturers offer units with catalytic converters that can bring efficiency up to 70+% Lower Heating Value (LHV). For more info, search for: Fireplace Xtrordinair; Renaissance; RSF; Superior; and Heatilator.

hotsauce2007 says:

amazing seller with a lot of patience and knowledge about fireplaces, congratulations for this store to have this employer

Thom Miller says:

I noticed they sell a lot of Jotul stoves. They are amazing units !!! I highly recommend them.

jeff2178 says:

Very interesting..

Plumbing, passion and work says:

Nice video wery informative, but there is another fireplace which is connected with central heating and there is the coil in it which is connected to the cold wather line.On that wather line must be installed on a special valve to cool down the fire place if the temperatule increase to 95 degrees.In Europe we use the fireplace as the second source of heat ,gas boiler is the main source of heat in this case. I like to watch your videos they are amazing.

Grant K says:

5:19, take some beeno.

sissy murphy says:

what about propane vented or vent free ,which is better .I already have a wood fireplace that I am looking to convert all we have is propane available .I want something that can keep a room warm in case of a power outage

Ronnie Emerson says:

I just bought a home with a converted double door garage turned into a den. It doest have air duct system what type of heater should I posibly use to heat the room?

Timyo praetor says:

What if you’re a slave to the propane cartel ? 96% effectively still results in extremely high fuel cost. These sales people always steer the customer to GAS.

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