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 warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

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 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 aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer different heights. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over room temperature 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 have when you combine that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 annually, 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 practically 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 smoothly.
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 call us at at 301-747-3140 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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