HPBA Heating Products at-a-Glance: Part 1 of

Learn more about how to select a fireplace for your log home.

HPBA Heating Products at-a-Glance: Your Local Hearth Retailer Can Help Select the Best Product For Your Home - Part 1 of 4
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TYPE Fireplaces
BENEFITS Most fireplaces are engineered and pre-built.Factory-built fireplaces are available in a range of sizes and can be open on one, two (“see-through” and corner models), three (“peninsula”) or four sides (“oasis”). Brick, stone, marble and other facing materials can be combined with your choice of mantels to suit your décor.
INSTALLATION Factory-built fireplaces are surprisingly inexpensive, use a safe, lightweight chimney and do not need any additional structural support. Because they have fewer limitations than site-built masonry fireplaces, they can be easily and safely installed in almost any room.Gas vent-free fireplaces require no chimney or flue modification. Electric fireplaces simply plugin to an electrical outlet.
FUEL USE/TYPE Fireplaces burn wood as well as natural gas or propane.Electric fireplaces offer amazing realism.
COST* Includes estimated price of average product and installation (in US $) Wood FireTypical cost of post construction (remodel) of an EPA certified wood-burning fireplace: $3,000-$5,000. 
Natural GasTypical cost of post construction (remodel) of a gas fireplace: $3,000-$5,000 (assumes no gas line work).
Electric FireplaceElectric fireplaces are the easiest to install as no venting or chimney is required. The typical cost: $500-$3,000.
ESTIMATED EFFICIENCY** Effiency is measured differently for different fuel types Wood Fire Factory-built fireplaces (EPA Certified) are heater-listed and can be 60 - 80% efficient. 
Natural GasHeater-listed direct-vent gas fireplaces are 58 - 80% efficient.
Natural GasVent-free gas fireplaces are 92 - 99% efficient.
Natural GasCondensing gas fireplaces, an emerging technology, are 82 - 94% efficient.
Electric FireplaceElectric fireplaces with heating elements are up to 99% efficient.
* Accessories such as remote controls and gas line work may add to the estimated cost. **Efficiency Notes: 1) Vent-free gas appliances: Some sources use 92-99% depending on how efficiencies are measured. 2) Electric appliances: The energy efficiency measured on this chart does not take into account getting electricity to the house. 3) Canadian residents: For more information on the efficiency ratings for gas fireplaces, stoves and inserts, go to Vent-free products are not available in Canada. 4) Data for efficiency ratings came from multiple sources, including: HPBA members,, Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance, 5) The estimated efficiency number (higher is better) is the result of measuring how much energy comes out of the hearth product from the amount of fuel put into it. *** The delivered efficiency of corn stoves is slightly less than pellet stoves due to the higher moisture content in corn compared to wood pellets. Visit to learn more.