Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect home, the home typically includes a comfy 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 decide 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 experience category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer different adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they go out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over room temperature and frees you from having to look after 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 have when you pair that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. 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 family’s. 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 periodic cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it operating both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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