If you are using your fireplace in an effort to lower your heating bill this winter do not let your savings go up in smoke.
If you have a fireplace in your home and have not made any modifications to it, chances are it is not approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
That translates to energy being lost just as quickly as it is created. Most residential fireplaces are for visual appeal and put out minimal heat.
Randy Dryden of the Fireplace Center says, "If you are able to get an insert into your fireplace that makes it into heating system. It is efficient."
Dryden says a wood burning stove or pellet stove gives you the most for your money.
"Those are units that actually can pay for themselves as opposed to a conventional fireplace which costs alot less but it has not pay back."
Getting the wood to make your fire most efficient is not as easy as cutting down a tree in the backyard.
Gus Granger of H & K Firewood says, "Generally what we recommend is a mix of the hard and the soft wood because you've got the soft wood that lights easier and helps the hard would get lit and then the hard wood is gonna stay lit longer."
A half cord of firewood sells for about $150. A full cord costs about $295. Right now is a good time to buy an EPA recommended product like a fireplace insert.