Duct Cleaning

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 house typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a crackling 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 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 usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much 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 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 diverse heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they go out. You can easily 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 achieve when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of soot and spent logs.

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