It's 2009, want to replace prefab fireplace with what?
Hi folks, I've got a 9 year old house ~1800 sq. feet, and in the living room (cathedral ceiling) I've got a prefab fireplace (Majestic) on the exterior wall, with a wood-framed "chimney" on the outside that runs to the roof, vinyl sided. The problem is, I don't think the chimney or behind the prefab was insulated at all - in the winter (SE Michigan) ice forms on the metal surround of the fireplace, and it's drafty like no tomorrow, making the entire room chilly. I'd like to do something this summer to get ready for the next heating season. I'm not looking to heat the whole house, but just rather supplement the NG forced air heating. I'm thinking I'd like to move to a stove that is closed up and I don't have to watch it all the time for sparks jumping out, etc. I also have some cats, so I'd need to plan for that (guards, etc.) What's the current thinking these days - corn, wood pellets, wood, etc. A co-worker has a Bixby and really likes it, what are some others I should consider? And any recommendations for a reputable vendor/installer in SE Michigan would be great too. Thanks for any help!