Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick 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 sensory 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 routine service performed. They do reach high temperatures, but most of that heat is lost 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 some models offer varied heights. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can merely 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. 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 crucial to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by an expert to keep it working both safely and effectively.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your annual furnace service, please call us at at 905-453-6700 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up by the fire in no time.
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