Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces 

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine 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 furnace or getting comfy around a cozy fire. 

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

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 ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do get very hot, 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 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 force you to wait while they simmer out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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 imagine 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 all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be hazardous to your family’s. 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of embers 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 annually by a professional to keep it functioning both safely and effectively. 

If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 215-259-5850 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time. 

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