Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their perfect house, the house typically includes a comfy 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 appeal of of a toasty fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects 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 usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic 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 glimmering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over room temperature and frees you from having to look after 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 pair that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it functioning both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 239-908-6991 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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