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 getting comfy around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to keep your home nice and toasty.

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 efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do get very hot, 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer different height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over your home’s 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 combine that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the 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 periodic cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by an expert to keep it running both safely and effectively.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule yearly furnace service, please give us a call at 780-800-9047 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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