When my husband and I originally moved into our house, there was a wood burning fireplace in the living room. I was delighted by this feature, and was excited to build a fire. I imagined how cozy the house would feel on a cold winter nights. After owning the house for five years, my husband and I built a fire one time. It was a horrible experience. We first needed to cut wood, which was a lot of work. We then hauled the dirty wood into the house, and created a huge mess. Starting the fire was difficult, and it created a great deal of soot, sparks and smoke. The sparks damaged the rug as well. The only way to benefit from the heat was to sit right up close to the fireplace. We then ended up reeking of smoke. I have recently consulted with a local HVAC contractor about converting the fireplace from wood burning to natural gas. The project is not overly involved or expensive. A natural gas fireplace would provide the benefits with none of the drawbacks. Rather than hauling wood and lighting the fire, the natural gas heater operates conveniently from a cordless remote. We could start it up with the touch of a button, and easily adjust temperature and fan speed. We’d have the option of programing the fireplace to startup and shutdown automatically. There are no fumes, soot, ash, smoke or any of the issues of an actual wood burning fire, and yet we’d still enjoy the appearance of it. Natural gas fireplaces are not only aesthetically pleasing but operate quite efficiently as well. Instead of the fireplace taking up space and going unused, it would add to the comfort of our home.