Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their perfect house, it typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating unit or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors to consider when deciding how to make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

Aesthetics and Efficiency 

  • Wood: A wood burning fireplace typically wins in the sensation category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has consistent 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer various heights. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t force you to wait while they simmer out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving 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. Just imagine 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 all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor 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 professional. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it functioning both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please call today at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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