The Vosters have owned their house since their children were young, and they’re now in college. “It was time for our home to be reborn, and our fireplace was begging for help.” The Vosters, who live in Wisconsin, had a masonry-built wood fireplace that was dated and highly inefficient.
Like most masonry-built wood fireplaces, it exhausted up to 300 cubic of a heated room air every minute it was burning. That means 18,000 cubic feet of heated air escaped the home every hour, in effect drawing cold air into the home through the windows and doors. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. homes have open wood-burning masonry fireplaces like the Vosters’ had, which are only +15 to -15% efficient (or should we say “inefficient”).
The Vosters renovated their wood-burning fireplace with a new gas fireplace and updated surround. Now their fireplace is an energy asset to their home, and can operate at up to 85% efficiency! They could have also chosen to install a gas fireplace insert, but since they wanted to tear out the hearth and dated rock surround, a gas fireplace was the best choice.
Before & After
And what an impressive transformation! There’s a huge contrast between the before and after photos, but what you don’t see are the energy savings and the added convenience of a gas fireplace. No more stacking and hauling cord wood, and now they can start the fire with a remote control.
Summer goes fast and it will be winter before we know it (sorry). But this is a great time of year to upgrade your fireplace. Check out all the styles and options for gas fireplaces here