Question: I have a 2200 sq. ft. cape cod style home built in 1987. The home is now heated with gas forced air and my gas bills are outrageous (I am insulating this summer). It has a ventilated fireplace that is large enough to accommodate most wood burning inserts but the chimney is not masonry (it is just a metal pipe leaving the house). Also the fireplace is approximately over the duct work for the house (though a hole would have to be cut). Here are my questions: 1. Can I get an insert without reworking the chimney to a masonry one? 1a. What other options do I have to improve the efficiency of the existing fireplace? 2. Can an insert be hooked into the duct work of a house from the bottom of the insert or top for that matter? 2a. If I don't connect the insert to the duct work of the house should I purchase an insert for the size of the room it will be heating-roughly 14' by 40' (our bedroom is above this room so the extra heat would be nice)? Answer: There are many inserts that are approved for zero clearance fireplaces. In most cases, the best installation job is to install the insert and then line the chimney to the top using stainless steel single wall pipe. This assures best draft, easiest cleaning and service and safety. A room of the size open to other rooms or a stairway can definitely use a mid size or larger stove. take a look at the mid-sized Avalon and Lopi models at Travis Industries at http://hearth.com/travis/ The insert is the way to go to really increase output. Other options are likely not to please you. It will be difficult to find a unit which puts heat into the ductwork from such a fireplace. However, you'll find that the heat will spread nicely from your new insert.