Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When someone imagines their dream house, it typically includes a cozy 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 warm fire, but how do you choose 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 sensory 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 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer varied heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they go out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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 pair 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 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little 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 a professional to keep it functioning both safely and effectively.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 289-201-2346 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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