Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream home, the home 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 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 make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

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 opportunity 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 routine 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer various height adjustments. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they simmer 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 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 get when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to every homeowner. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it operating both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule routine furnace service, please give us a call at 330-269-7235 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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