If your house addition or remodeling project includes a fireplace, you can save energy by installing a vent-free gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning fireplace, or by installing a fireplace that can be used either way. A traditional wood-burning fireplace includes a flue that closes off the chimney. You will almost certainly experience some air exchange around the flue. When you open the flue or vent and build a wood fire, most of the heat will actually go up the chimney. If you fail to close the flue when the fire is out, you allow cold air to enter your house through the chimney. A vent-free fireplace, however, does not leave an opening in the chimney through which the heat can escape. The heat of your fire will warm the room. And, since gas logs now look incredibly realistic, you will have the appearance, warmth, and ambiance of a fire without the trouble of buying, stacking, and carrying firewood. Making your home more energy efficient at the same time is the extra bonus.

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