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, it typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or gathering 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 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 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 regular service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, but most of that heat is released 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 style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions 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 need you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over the temperature of you home 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 combine that with a well-maintained 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 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 professional. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of cinders 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 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 call us at 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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