Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a toasty 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 sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires usually 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer various adjustments in height. The ceramic 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 merely 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. Just imagine the level of comfort you could achieve when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a specialist to keep it functioning both safely and smoothly.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please call us at at 301-476-4577 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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