Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect house, the house typically includes a comfortable 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 enticement of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide 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 sensation 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 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 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer varied heights. The 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 go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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 have when you combine that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be a health hazard. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by a professional. 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 a bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a specialist to keep it running both safely and effectively.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your routine furnace service, please call us at at 704-464-4307 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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