Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces
A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream 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 warm fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors 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 effective heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do reach high temperatures, but most of that heat disappears 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 style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer different heights. The ceramic 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 go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to look after 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 combine that with a fully serviced furnace.
Air Quality and Maintenance
- Wood: Air quality is important 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 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of soot and spent logs.
- Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it working both safely and smoothly.