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

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a toasty 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 sensation category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer different height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they simmer out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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 achieve when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood odor 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 professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a specialist to keep it operating 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 need to schedule annual furnace service, please call us at at 315-313-6531 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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