Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, the dream typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system or getting comfy around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide 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 sensation 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 usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do get very hot, 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 many models offer diverse height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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. Picture the level of comfort you could achieve when you incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a specialist to keep it running 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 give us a call at or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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