Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine 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 snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure of of a warm fire, but how do you choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

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 ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer diverse height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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 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 crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of embers 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 every 12 months by an expert to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you simply need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call us at at or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time.
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