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Go with a gas insert and forget the wood. The convenience, safety, economy, and cleanliness is unsurpassed. Burning wood is alot of work and hassle. Modernize and go with gas. Natural gas by all means, if its available, if not you can still use propane; its just not as economical per unit of energy.
 

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I finally talked my parents into putting a wood insert into their masonry fireplace. It works awesome. No more drafty fires. Their house went from always being chilly while paying a fortune for propane to being able to cook you out. With the insert going they barely run the furnace. They went with a Jotul 450. Jotul stoves are great. I have a Jotul F500 free standing wood stove.
 

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ROLL TIDE!!!!
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When getting an insert you need to make sure you don't get something bigger than you need. An insert will produce more heat efficiently and won't cause the rest of the house to be as cold as a traditional fireplace. Regency, Napoleon, Vermont Castings, Pacific Energy, and Lopi are some reputable brands that are fine to go with. Depending on the aesthetics and the height of the flue , most installs fall between $3500-$4500 around here. There are some links to the manufacturers at the top of the website...http://cozy-fireplace.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wood for sure, lots of fallen trees get cut up here every year. Might as well use them.
We live in Wisconsin.
 

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My parents have and a few friends have Hietzer wood & coal burning inserts. They are very nice and well built units. You can remove the ashes without disturbing your fire and they built in fans. Heitzer stoves are very heavy so you know they're going to last.
 
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