Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream house, the dream typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a toasty fire, but how do you choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects 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 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, considerably lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer varied adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they go 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. Picture the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood creates 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of cinders 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 an expert to keep it functioning both safely and efficiently.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule your annual furnace service, please give us a call at 843-619-3781 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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