Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines 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 heating unit or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is a powerful heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, but most of that heat is lost 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 many versions offer different height adjustments. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they simmer out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to look after 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 get when you incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma 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 consistantly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by an expert to keep it working 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 seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 727-219-2471 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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