Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

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

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 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, considerably lower than a furnace that has consistent 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 artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer varied adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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 have when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood odor 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it running both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your yearly furnace service, please call today at or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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