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 home, the house typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a warm fire, but how do you pick 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 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 effective 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 reach high temperatures, 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer various adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they simmer out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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. Just imagine 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 homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be hazardous to your family’s. 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 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 advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a professional to keep it running both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call today at 803-399-7208 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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