Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream home, it typically includes a comfortable 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 points to consider when deciding how to make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

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 efficient heating source. Wood fires normally 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 aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer various adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they simmer out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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. Imagine the level of comfort you could get when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a professional to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please call today at or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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