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If you want an efficient fireplace, I recommend a full insert (sealed-combustion) that runs a new vent pipe, typically up your existing chimney. Hire a professional installer from a local fireplace company to do this.
There are also options to retrofit a "gas log" in an existing fireplace, but there are several issues with this. Typically, if you have an open hearth without doors that seal tightly closed (with a gasket) then you are going to put more energy up the chimney than actually radiates out into the room.
There are a very wide veriety of gas fireplace inserts.
1. Check with the city to see what you can install. Some cities are now requiring sealed units
2. Do not try runing a gas line by yourself. Hire a licensed plumber to do it.
3. http://www.csia.org/?gclid=CL_Qk-SZ0dACFZBefgodOrUNRA Contact a CSIA certified chimney sweep to help you install.
HDR Remodeling Berkeley Ca
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