Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 an effective heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do get very hot, 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 aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer diverse adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over your home’s temperature 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. Picture the level of comfort you could achieve when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood generates 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional 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 yearly furnace service, please call today at or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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