Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream house, the house typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure of of a warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors to consider when deciding how to keep your home nice and toasty.

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 a powerful heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer diverse height adjustments. 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 simmer out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over your home’s temperature 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. Picture the level of comfort you could have when you incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

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

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by an expert to keep it running both safely and effectively.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your annual furnace service, please call today at or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
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