2/8/2010 7:00:16 AM Even with an insert, a fireplace isn’t cost effective in an urban environment. A wood stove in a forest makes sense. A stinking, costly wood fireplace in a city is just conspicuous consumption.
2/8/2010 7:49:51 AM Our chimney was in need of major repair, and apparently in SF, you cannot rebuild wood burning chimneys. So we added a gas insert, and I am quite happy with the results. The thing about wood burning fireplaces is that not all of the soot goes up the chimney. If all of it went up the chimney, you wouldn’t have that unique fireplace smell. Bottom line for us was that our fireplace was just a decorative appliance, and it’s well known that early exposure to smoke leads to health problems down the road.