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Gas Fireplace Inserts are used to convert an existing wood burning fireplaces, both pre-fab (zero-clearance) and masonry, to a more efficient gas appliance. They consist of a Gas Log set installed into a Steel or Cast-Iron Heat Exchanger and are usually sealed on the front with glass - the exception being Vent-Free gas inserts which are usually open. Many of these units have fans to move the heat, and are also available with remote controls, wall switches or wall-mounted thermostats.

[​IMG]These Gas Inserts are much more efficient than the Vented Gas Logs, and the sealed fronts (glass) provide an extra safety factor. Quality Gas Inserts can provide BTU outputs ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 BTU and can burn as high as 80% (+-) efficiency.

Most modern Gas Inserts are direct vent, which means they use a two-pipe system, one which brings combustion air into the insert and the other which vents the exhaust. With a direct vent, it is usually mandatory to completely line the chimney to the top with two Flexible aluminum or Stainless steel pipes. This assures proper balance of the intake and exhaust and assures safe operation.

Some Gas Fireplace Inserts are B-Vent, which means they use a single pipe system. These units are often less efficient than direct vent because they use interior house air for combustion. B vented units must also be lined to the chimney top, although with only a single pipe in this case.

Vent Free Inserts use no chimney at all, and so consist of only a metal box with a vent-free log set inside. The existing chimney is not used in this case. It may be that a vent-free insert offers no advantage over a Vent-Free log set, so prospective Vent-Free buyers should study the options carefully and consult with their contractor or fireplace pro.

Gas Inserts sell for $1400. to $3500+ with professional installation adding another $800 to $1500 (approx) to the price. This is typical a job...
Gas Stoves and Fireplaces have become extremely popular in the last 10 years. There are literally hundreds of styles and sizes made, one of which is sure to fit any decor and budget. Gas Stoves and Fireplaces are designed to look like their wood burning counterparts, and modern design advancements have created simulated logs and flames that can’t be distinguished from the real thing! Gas Fireplaces are not only pretty to look at - they can also provide an increased sense of heating security since they don’t need electricity to operate. You might not have to abandon your home the next time the power goes out during a winter storm.

Note: Gas Fireplace refers to an appliance which is built into the wall while Gas Stove refers to a Freestanding unit.

Freestanding Gas Stove - Jotul

There are three basic types of Gas Fireplaces and Stoves:

Direct Vented - Can be vented straight out through the wall or up through the roof
Top Vented - These units need a chimney or vent exiting the roof
Ventless (Vent-Free) - Need no Vent or Chimney - these exhaust into your home

Direct Vent Gas Fireplaces and Stoves

Direct Vented Fireplaces and stoves offer a convenient option - No chimney is needed, just a hole through the wall behind or right above the appliance. This gives quite a bit of installation flexibility, such as locating the unit below a window. This direct vent pipe is really two pipes, one inside the other. The outer wall pulls in air from outside to be used in burning the gas fuel, while the inner pipe then returns the flue exhaust back outside. This “sealed” system is very safe and efficient because no air from inside the home is being used for combustion.

The installation finishes and options are many. A freestanding stove might only need a rigid pad underneath, while a built-in fireplace may be finished with many various combinations of...
Gas Fireplace Logs have become very popular in the last few years. With this new popularity, however, has come the usual barrage of questions regarding these products and their uses.

Gas Logs

Gas Fireplaces Logs have become very popular in the last decade. With this new popularity, however, has come the usual barrage of questions regarding these products and their uses. First, some information common to all these types. They are all available set up for Natural Gas or LP (Propane). They all require that you have an existing wood burning fireplace with a decent chimney system installed (have a chimney sweep check your chimney and fireplace). They are all available (or standard) with multi-function safety controls to assure that unlit gas cannot be sent into the living area.

Gas Logs are available in two basic types:

Vented Logs - For use in Fireplaces with the damper open. Price Range typically from $300 to $600

Unvented Logs - For converting existing wood burning fireplaces - damper can be left fully closed or open. Price Range typically from $350 to $650

Installing your Gas Logs

Heating Your Home

Vented Logs

Millions of vented logs are in use in fireplaces across the US. These tried and true log sets have been sold for 20 years or more, and are still the most popular type. They are available in lengths from 12” to over 60” (that’s a big fireplace !). Vented logs are the most realistic wood fire substitute made, and are available in different styles and finishes which resemble oak, birch, hickory and many other wood species. This realistic beauty comes at a price; vented logs are also the least efficient of the three types. They consume from 50,000 to 90,000 BTU/HR of Gas which costs 60 cents to $1.50 per hour (Natural Gas) and 75 cents to $1.75 per hour (LP). The efficiency is rather low, meaning that only 10% of this heat is returned to the home. The rest goes up the chimney, much like your old wood fire did....
Woodman Associates - Parts for older and current Stoves and Barbecues, as well as accessories, pipe, chimney, etc. - Stove glass, mica, gasket, and much more. Visit on the web at www.woodmanspartsplus.com

Condar Company - Replacement catalytic converters for most stoves. Visit http://www.woodstovecombustors.com/

Bucks Stove Palace - Parts for Cawley-Lemay woodstoves and also many antique and other models.

Energy Unlimited of New England, Inc. - Parts for many stoves no longer manufactured.

Obadiah’s Stove Parts. - Parts for many pellet and wood stoves

Mountain View stove Parts. - Parts for many wood, gas and pellet stoves!

Hilkoil 1-800-807-7041 fax: 518-377-4004 - Makes Stainless steel water jackets for inside stoves and fireplace.

Pellet Stove Parts:
Energy Parts Plus - source for Pellet and Gas stove/fireplace parts.They supply Retail stores, Technicians and Consumers.

Links for UK and European parts

Stovespares - Stovespares supply a comprehensive range of spare parts for stoves and other stove spares in the UK.

Antique Stove Links


copyright 1992, CONEG Policy Research Center - Reprinted with permission.

Table of Contents

Wood is Good Again.
Which Wood Stove is right for me?
“Cat” and “non-cat” - two different breeds.
What to look for in a stove with a catalytic combustor.
What to look for in a noncatalytic stove.
Shop around for the best stove.
Installing your Wood Stove.
Clearances are extremly important.
Ten Steps to maximum woodburning efficiency.
Call the Chimney Sweep!
The last word on wood

Wood is Good Again.

  Intrepid Stove

A growing awareness of the environmental impact of fossil fuels (such as natural gas, oil and coal) along with the desire to be more energy independent have encouraged a renewed interest in heating with wood. Not too long ago, even the best wood stoves weren’t terribly efficient. In fact, the haze they produced was a sign that homeowners’ hard earned heating money was literally going up in smoke. A lot has changed since 1990. That was when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated strict particle emissions standards for stove manufacturers. Today, all new wood stoves are EPA-certified. And that means they are much more efficient, and friendlier to the environment as well. But doesn’t burning wood produce pollutants just like coal or oil? Well, the answer is yes…and no. When fossil fuels are taken out of the earth and burned, they produce an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And since these fuels are produced far from where they will ultimately be consumed, mishaps such as oil spills cause other problems. Once burned, fossil fuels are gone forever. Wood is different. As all plants grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and convert it to fiber. The carbon dioxide is released after they die, whether they are burned, or simply left to rot in the forest. This process is part of nature’s cycle. Heating with wood can be both...
It’s one of those questions that is on the mind of every stove consumer - which material is best? In the first independent article of it’s kind, I will try to explain the pros and cons in the simplest terms possible…..

Cast Iron

Cast Iron has always been a popular stove material and with good reasons. The casting process was perfected long before steel and welding were, and so naturally the earliest stoves were of poured iron. From the original Ben Franklin Stoves to the thousands of models that were heating homes in the 1800’s, cast iron was the preferred material.

Cast Iron & Enamel
Benefits of Cast Iron:
1. It stands up well to heat and to changes in temperature. In fact, many car engines are built of cast iron for this reason.
2. It is a strong material - yet it can easily be drilled and tapped (threads installed) to create large assemblies (stoves, etc.)
3. It spreads heat out well…when part of the cast iron gets warm, it conducts the heat well to other parts.
4. It allows for very decorative stoves because mouldings, flutes and other design elements can easily be incorporated into the pattern.
5. It accepts enamel well, which allows for even more decorative and functional finishes.

The design and manufacture of cast iron stoves can be expensive. A manufacturer must have a foundry, which is a factory that melts metal and pours it into sand molds. In addition, each part (some stoves have dozens or more) must have an expensive master pattern made for it. Whenever a change is needed, a new or modified pattern must be created.


In the last few decades, steel plate has become an alternative to cast iron. The mass production of plate steel, along with the availability of improved steel cutting and welding machines and techniques, have created a boom in the production and sales of steel stoves.

Steel Stove w/accents
Earlier steel stoves were quite basic - often simply steel boxes with cast...