Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, it typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system or getting comfy around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the appeal 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 keep your home nice and toasty.

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 typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer various adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over room temperature and frees you from having to tend to 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 pair that with a well-maintained 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 odor that a wood burning fireplace emits could be a health hazard. Wood also creates a byproduct called creosote that lines the coating of the chimney and must be removed by a chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, 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 advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it operating both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call us at at 518-205-3324 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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