Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines 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 snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation 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 keep your home nice and toasty.

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 efficient heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do get very hot, 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 house up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer varied adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they go out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over your home’s 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could achieve when you pair that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by an expert to keep it functioning both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 289-273-2229 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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