Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces 

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone imagines their dream home, it typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or gathering around a cozy fire. 

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has regular 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 style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer varied height adjustments. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over your home’s temperature 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 have when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace.  

Air Quality and Maintenance 

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be a health hazard. 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 recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs. 
  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a specialist to keep it working both safely and efficiently. 

If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule yearly furnace service, please call us at at 205-267-0023 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time. 

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