Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone imagines their dream house, it typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating unit or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to keep your home nice and toasty.

Aesthetics and Efficiency 

  • Wood: A wood burning fireplace typically wins in the sensation category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, but most of that heat is released up the chimney. Wood burning fireplaces not only lose the heat coming from the fire, but it also pulls warm air from other parts of the home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer varied heights. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to keep an eye on your fire. The lack of fire stealing oxygen gives gas fireplaces a 75% to 99% efficiency rating. Just picture the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes could be hazardous to your health. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by an expert to keep it functioning both safely and efficiently.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule routine furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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