Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their perfect home, the dream typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the appeal of of a toasty fire, but how do you choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects 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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do get very hot, 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer diverse heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over room temperature and frees you from having to keep an eye on 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 incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a specialist to keep it working both safely and effectively.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your annual furnace service, please give us a call at 817-380-5647 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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