Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a warm fire, but how do you choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

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 a powerful heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has consistent 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 house up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer diverse adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to keep an eye on your fire. The lack of fire stealing oxygen gives gas fireplaces a 75% to 99% efficiency rating. Imagine the level of comfort you could achieve when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood odor 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require consistant 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 suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by an expert to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule routine furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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