Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect house, it typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a warm fire, but how do you decide 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 experience category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer different height adjustments. The types of 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 burn out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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. Just imagine the level of comfort you could have when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be a health hazard. 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent 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 recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a professional to keep it operating 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 routine furnace service, please call today at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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