Not to sound like Cliff Clavin, but it’s a “little known fact” that masonry-style, old-timey wood fireplaces are inefficient – and they aren’t just slightly inefficient. They cost homeowners hundreds of dollars a year in wasted energy, and actually make houses draftier and colder than those without old wood fireplaces. If you have one in your home, you may not want to believe it – but the U.S. Department of Energy says it’s true. For every hour your wood fireplace operates, it can exhaust 24,000 cubic feet of warm air outside your home, while drawing cold air in through the doors and windows. That’s just backwards and defeats the purpose of having a fireplace, which is to make our homes warmer.

Here’s the good news: updating your old wood fireplace can be relatively inexpensive, and you don’t have to sacrifice the beauty of your existing hearth to make it more efficient and convenient. It’s called a gas fireplace insert and it will transform your fireplace into a heat-producing, beautiful home amenity. Here’s why thousands of homeowners across the country have installed them: