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 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 allure of of a warm fire, but how do you decide 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 experience category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires normally 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 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer varied adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor 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, giving 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. Imagine the level of comfort you could have when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood odor that a wood burning fireplace emits could be hazardous to your family’s. 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 regular 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 suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by an expert to keep it operating both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please call us at 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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