Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect house, it typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

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 an effective heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 house up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer different heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they simmer out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over room temperature 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 generates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace emits could be a health hazard. 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 regular cleanings of soot 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 annually by an expert to keep it working both safely and effectively.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule routine furnace service, please call us at at 308-210-4398 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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