Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, the house typically includes a comfy 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 charm of of a toasty fire, but how do you pick 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 sensory 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 typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has regular service performed. They do get very hot, 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 varied adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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 picture the level of comfort you could get when you pair that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood odor that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 consistantly, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a specialist to keep it operating both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule your annual furnace service, please call us at at 716-427-6807 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cozied up and warm in no time.
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