Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When someone imagines their dream home, the house typically includes a comfortable 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 temptation 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 keep your home nice and toasty.

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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer various height adjustments. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could get when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor 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 recurrent 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 effectively.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cozied up by the fire in no time.
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