Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream home, the house 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 warm fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors 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 experience 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 regular service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer various adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they simmer out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to tend to 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 important to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 a professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule your routine furnace service, please call today at 317-527-0271 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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