Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect home, it 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 crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors 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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer different adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they simmer out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over your home’s temperature 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 picture the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor 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 professional 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 a bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a specialist to keep it running both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule routine furnace service, please call today at 630-246-2698 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time.
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