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, it typically includes a comfortable 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 enticement of of a warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

Aesthetics and Efficiency 

  • Wood: A wood burning fireplace typically wins in the experience 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 typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer varied heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could have when you pair that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by an expert to keep it running both safely and efficiently.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule routine furnace service, please call us at at 614-334-3192 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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