Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

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

It’s hard to resist the charm 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 experience category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires typically 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 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer various height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides you more control over your home’s temperature 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could get when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to every homeowner. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be hazardous to your family’s. 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 consistantly, 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 just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a specialist to keep it working both safely and efficiently.
If you are wanting to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your routine furnace service, please give us a call at 865-229-6176 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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