Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When someone imagines their dream house, the dream typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or getting comfy around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the enticement 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 make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

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 an efficient heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do reach high temperatures, but most of that heat disappears 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 artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer various heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t require you to wait while they simmer out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over the temperature of you home 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 have when you incorporate that with a well-maintained 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 smell that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it functioning 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 need to schedule your routine furnace service, please give us a call at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time.
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