Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect 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 gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a toasty 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 ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires usually 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer different height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn 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 combine that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 an expert. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of soot 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 working both safely and effectively.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule routine furnace service, please call us at at 780-800-7092 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
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