Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, the dream 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 temptation of of a crackling fire, but how do you choose 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 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 lost 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 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 require you to wait while they simmer out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to tend to your fire. The lack of fire stealing oxygen gives gas fireplaces a 75% to 99% efficiency rating. Imagine the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to every homeowner. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it functioning both safely and smoothly.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your routine furnace service, please give us a call at 330-235-1260 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.