We have a large fireplace and plenty of free or cheap wood and love having fires for warmth and entertainment. An open fireplace is not an ideal source of heat, but I wanted to know if there's a relatively simple way of increasing the amount of usable heat we get from the fire.
We're in a rental property, so a permanent installation such as a wood stove or fireplace insert is not possible.
I've seen a couple commercial solutions, such as this Texas Fireframe or fireplace heat exchangers, but I have no idea if these actually make a difference. I've also heard that just putting a cast iron plate at the back might reflect some heat back. Is there something I can put together myself with some Home Depot supplies?