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 home typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure of of a warm fire, but how do you choose 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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic 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 need you to wait while they go 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 keep an eye on your fire. The lack of fire stealing oxygen gives gas fireplaces a 75% to 99% efficiency rating. Imagine the level of comfort you could achieve when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood odor that a wood burning fireplace emits 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. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders 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 once a year by an expert to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you want to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 484-401-7577 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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