Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect house, the dream typically includes a comfortable 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 charm 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 keep your home nice and toasty.

Aesthetics and Efficiency 

  • Wood: A wood burning fireplace typically wins in the sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent 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 home 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 various heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering 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 your home’s 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 imagine the level of comfort you could achieve when you pair that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a professional to keep it working 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 need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call today at 615-953-9885 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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