Both fireplaces and wood stoves burn wood for fuel and serve as heaters. Wood is a fairly inexpensive fuel source, so that is good. I have always lived in the south and have never used a wood stove. I have only used fireplaces, and although fireplaces serve as heaters in a way, they are not good heaters. Much of the heated air goes right up the chimney with the smoke. The fireplace is more of a pretty heater, so to speak. Well, my brother moved across the country and lives in the southwest. The thermostat there goes very low in the winter and very high in the summer. He has a wood stove for a heater. I assumed it was just for looks like my fireplace, but he told me that wood stove is their only heater. I could not even believe it! It turns out, though, that the wood stove is quite a bit more energy efficient than the fireplaces I have always owned. He says it is incredibly warm in his house even when the outdoor thermostat dips well below freezing and there are 6-foot tall icicles hanging off his roof. I must say, though, that I find the look of the wood stove kind of sad. The wood stove sits over there all alone and looks like it doesn’t get appreciated at all. I understand that them make wood stove inserts that can be installed in your regular fireplace. In that way, the fireplace is magically transformed into a good heater and still looks pretty. That seems like a good solution.