Asked on Dec 30, 2012

Moving from S.FL to Tennessee. Question about fireplaces w/drapes hanging in front of them.

Jeanette SCarolBev


We are moving from S. FL to Tennesse.Therefore, we don't have much experience (none) with fireplaces. We are searching on line. Some of the pictures that have fireplaces, have some sort of curtain in front of them. I'm assuming cold air is getting in from this area. Should we run when we see this? How much does it cost to change a wood burning fireplace to gas? Thanks
10 answers
  • There should be nothing other then perhaps a screen panel to keep sparks from flying into the room in front of the fireplace. As far as conversion from wood to gas, this depends upon the location of the fuel supply to the fireplace and what exactly you want as far as gas logs or lighters. Prices range from a few hundred dollars for the log set to a few thousand for the high end units. If your moving, and I assume your buying a home. Have you had it inspected? Both the house and the fireplace/chimney needs to be evaluated by a professional to let you know exactly what needs to be addressed and what does not. There is no way to tell you what to do without doing a complete inspection.

  • Bev
    on Dec 30, 2012

    Thanks. We are in the process of looking currently..but, will definitely get an inspection. Just cautious about pictures on line where, especially in older homes (1900's-1930's) that had curtains actually in front of the fireplace. I guess not working fireplaces. Thanks for the info.

  • Z
    on Dec 31, 2012

    I have never heard or seen curtains in front of fireplaces so I can't help you there, but I would recommend asking a realtor in that area about them. Not the one that's selling a home with the curtains though.

  • Lin R
    on Dec 31, 2012

    Beverly I hope ya'll will love Tennessee as much as I do. I moved here from Georgia in 1979 and can not imagine living anywhere else now. This is home to me now. The people here are so friendly and I love the hills and mountains. I hope your move goes smoothly for you and best of luck!

  • Bev
    on Dec 31, 2012

    Good advice. Thanks

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 31, 2012

    From a heating standpoint, fireplaces are far less efficient than a free standing wood stove. A fireplace insert is somewhere in between. I have an insert in my Living room and free standing soapstone wood stove in the master bedroom. We go through 5 to 6 cords of wood each heating season. We keep our propane forced air furnace set to 58 and use build fires to supplement. The "cover photo" in this article I wrote is the wood stove in our master You should also read these articles on how to build a proper fire, and on fire safety.

  • Jeanette S
    on Jan 1, 2013

    Some parts of the country insist on fireplaces. Frankly, I hate them. We have a gas starter which we equipped with gas logs, then disconnected them and put in a free standing heater. Our main furnace went out just before Christmas and we kept the entire house warm and certain parts toasty! We love our heater! I will never go back to a fireplace again. If it was not such a selling item in this part of the country, I would wall it out of existence!

  • Bev
    on Jan 3, 2013

    Thanks everyone. Great info!

  • Carol
    on Jul 28, 2015

    you can buy fireplace screens or you can buy glass screens that are fitted to the opening size. That keeps any cold air from coming in, and can still have fire burning when needed. Looks pretty. Actually, with the damper closed there isn't much cold coming in. Just remember to open the damper before building a fire!! And I love my gas logs!!

  • Jeanette S
    on Nov 11, 2015

    After gas lines were put in but before central heat, houses were heated by small heaters sitting in every designated area. Most were just open faced small heaters with ceramic type "radiants" in them. Ours is one that stands about 2' tall and has the heater portion is enclosed in an enclosure...(sort of like a fireplace insert). We have a wide brick hearth that is deep enough for it to sit on. Since we have frequent power outages during the winter, we keep ours in place year round. It is too much trouble to have the plumber come out and take it down and put it back up. The last time I nearly froze to death using a fireplace, I learned to love the ugly thing! And you can at least get one part of your house toasty no matter how cold it gets!

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