Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect house, the house 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 temptation of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do reach high temperatures, 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 house up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer different heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over the temperature of you home 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. 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 critical to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule routine furnace service, please call us at at 540-302-8645 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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