Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the appeal of of a warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has regular 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer various height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glowing 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 your home’s 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. Picture the level of comfort you could achieve when you pair that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your family’s 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 a chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of 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 functioning both safely and smoothly.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you need to schedule seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 603-923-4570 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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