Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream home, the home typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating unit or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide 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 sensation 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 usually 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 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 many designs offer various adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t force 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could get when you pair that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to every homeowner. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes could be hazardous to your health. 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a professional to keep it working both safely and effectively.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you simply want to schedule yearly furnace service, please call today at 919-578-4329 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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