Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors 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 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 get very hot, 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer different adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over room 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. Just 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 crucial to every homeowner. Burning wood produces 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 family’s. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require regular 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 suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a professional to keep it operating both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 804-548-4480 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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