Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a crackling fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 experience 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 usually 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 lost 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer diverse heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need you to wait while they simmer out. You can merely 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. Just imagine the level of comfort you could have when you pair that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma 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 professional chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it operating both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 512-596-1257 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
Contact Us