Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect house, the dream typically includes a comfy 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 appeal 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 experience category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability 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 generate a lot of heat, 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 artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer varied height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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 picture 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 every homeowner. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood odor 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 professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a professional to keep it operating both safely and efficiently.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you simply want to schedule your annual furnace service, please give us a call at or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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