Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream home, the dream typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick 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 an effective heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has regular 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 some models offer diverse heights. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t force you to wait while they burn out. You can simply 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. Imagine 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 creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by an expert to keep it functioning both safely and effectively.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call 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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