Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, the dream typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or getting comfy 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 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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer varied height adjustments. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to tend to 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 incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to every homeowner. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be hazardous to your health. 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 annually, 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 practically 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 want to schedule your routine furnace service, please call us at at 239-908-6991 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time.
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