Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the enticement 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, much lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, but most of that heat disappears 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 diverse heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides you more control over room temperature 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. 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 every homeowner. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace exudes could be a health hazard. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by a professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of ashes 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 working both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 866-397-3787 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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