Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect home, the house typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating unit 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 points to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do get very hot, 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer various height adjustments. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they simmer 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could have 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 your home and the smoky wood smell 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a professional to keep it running 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 need to schedule your annual furnace service, please call us at at 843-410-6103 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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