If you are drawn to the look of wood burning fireplaces, consider retrofitting with a high-efficiency fireplace insert. The insert functions like a wood stove, fitting into the masonry fireplace or on its hearth, and uses the existing chimney. A well-fitted fireplace insert is nearly as efficient as a wood stove.
Wood is consistently one of the lowest-cost ways to heat in Vermont. It is a local and renewable resource, making it an excellent choice for home heating. However, wood heat is not for every home; it requires some extra work (stacking, splitting, feeding the fire, etc.) and, of course, the space to store cord wood or pellets.