Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a warm fire, but how do you choose 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 sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient 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 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer varied height adjustments. The 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 go out. You can simply 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 get when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 a professional. 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 virtually maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a specialist to keep it operating both safely and effectively.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule annual furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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