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 unit or snuggling 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 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 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 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 burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could achieve when you combine 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 gives off 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 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 every 12 months by an expert to keep it working both safely and efficiently.
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 yearly furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
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