Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect home, the home typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure 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 make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

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 an effective 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 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer different adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over your home’s temperature 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 combine that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to every homeowner. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little 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 an expert to keep it functioning both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call us at at 561-629-1826 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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