Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces
A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect home, the dream typically includes a comfortable 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 charm of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide 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 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 normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably 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 models offer various heights. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they go out. You can simply 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 get when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace.
Air Quality and Maintenance
- Wood: Air quality is vital to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of soot and spent logs.
- Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a professional to keep it operating both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 215-259-5850 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cozied up by the fire in no time.
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