Experimental and computational activities were performed to determine the possible improvements of total environmental impact of a wood-open fireplace. Two models of fireplaces will be discussed, both with the same power and with only a difference relative to the geometry of the internal elements of the heat exchanger. In the second model the two blades have been substituted with one pipe that represents a possible and cheaper solution in the way of optimization. The optimization process has been conducted up to the determination of a third configuration with a better thermal efficiency. While combustion emissions are difficult to reduce where only a minimum control of actual combustion conditions can be ensured in such domestic appliances, a significant improvement can be considered for the heat recover efficiency. This improvement can be achieved through a detailed analysis of the thermal conditions realized and can require modifications to the heat exchanger geometry profitable from the manufacturing point of view too. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.