Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream home, the dream typically includes a cozy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or gathering 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 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 sensation category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably 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 many models offer diverse adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they simmer 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. Picture the level of comfort you could have when you incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood aroma 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 professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, 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 running both safely and effectively.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you simply want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please call us at at 303-647-5853 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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