Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream home, it typically includes a comfortable 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 appeal of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much 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 artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer various heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over the temperature of you home 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. Picture the level of comfort you could get when you combine that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your family’s 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little 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 a specialist to keep it working both safely and efficiently.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please call today at 210-404-4233 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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