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, the home typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 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 effective heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, 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 aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer different adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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 achieve when you incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to every homeowner. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your 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 a professional. 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 some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by an expert to keep it functioning 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 need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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