Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream home, the house typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects 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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer different heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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. Imagine the level of comfort you could achieve when you incorporate that with a well-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 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 an expert. 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 recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by a specialist to keep it working both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your routine furnace service, please call us at at 210-570-9705 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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