qIf you enjoy using your masonry fireplace but don't like the associated energy costs, you might want to consider purchasing a fireplace insert. An insert is basically a wood stove designed to fit into a conventional open fireplace.
Gas inserts consist of a gas log set installed into a steel or cast iron heat exchanger and are usually sealed on the front with glass. Many of these units have fans to move the heat, and are also available with remote controls, wall switches or wall-mounted thermostats.
Fireplace inserts are heavy, often weighing more than 400 pounds. Since wood-burning inserts need to be removed when the chimney is being cleaned and maintained, they can be awkward and heavy to handle. It is a job best left to a professional chimney sweep.
In some cases, however, you do not have to remove the insert to clean the chimney. The insert can stay in place during cleaning if you install a full relining collar, a stainless steel pipe that connects to the insert and goes to the top of the chimney.
You might need to purchase accessories such as a blower, glass door, or catalytic combustor to go with the insert.