Is it a good investment to convert a wood fireplace into a gas fireplace?

Asked by JoAnn
Grand Rapids, MI

I have a 1977 bi-level with a fireplace that the chimney has cracked and water is leaking down the cement block in the garage. We have talked about converting the fireplace to gas someday but now that we have to replace the chimney, does it make since to elminate the chimney and go with a self vented gas fireplace? I have gotten two quotes to replace the chimney one at $2400 and another for $4995. Just wondering what the best solution would be for this situation?


Jason Kliwinski

Answered by Jason Kliwinski

Lambertville, NJ

The Green Living and Building Center

May 13, 2013

My opinion on this is that it is not better to replace the wood fireplace with gas.

I think this for three reasons.

  1. In the event of an emergency, like Sandy, gas service may be non existent and you then lose a potential natural heat source for the home.
  2. Buying and having a gas fireplace/insert installed will likely cost almost as much as repairing the chimney.
  3. Rather than burning wood, which is considered a biofuel and carbon neutral as a result, you are burning natural gas which is a finite fossil fuel source.

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