Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the allure of of a toasty fire, but how do you pick 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 sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful heating source. Wood fires usually 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 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer varied height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing 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 keep an eye on 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 incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

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

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by an expert to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 321-428-7635 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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