Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream house, it 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 temptation of of a toasty fire, but how do you choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors 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 sensation category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful 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 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer diverse height adjustments. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to tend to 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 serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell 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 chimney sweep. 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 every 12 months by an expert to keep it working both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 226-773-3357 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
Contact Us