Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect house, it typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or snuggling 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 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 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, much lower than a furnace that has regular 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer different heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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 imagine the level of comfort you could achieve when you pair that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of 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 a specialist to keep it running both safely and effectively.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you want to schedule routine furnace service, please give us a call at 301-747-3140 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
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