Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone imagines their dream home, the house typically includes a cozy 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 enticement of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide 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 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, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer varied height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over room temperature and frees you from having to tend to 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 incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be a health hazard. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by a professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a professional to keep it functioning both safely and effectively.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule routine furnace service, please give us a call at 260-557-1275 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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