Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect home, the house typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a warm fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 experience category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do get very hot, 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 aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer different heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of 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 get when you pair that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor 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 professional. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic 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 annually by a professional to keep it operating 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 want to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 305-440-1505 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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