Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, the dream typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or snuggling 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 heat your home.

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 typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, 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 house up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer various heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they simmer out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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 have when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders 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 annually by a specialist to keep it running both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule your routine furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
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