Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, it typically includes a comfy 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 allure of of a crackling fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects to consider when deciding how to keep your home nice and toasty.

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 a powerful heating source. Wood fires normally 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 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 artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer varied height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t need 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 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 incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 consistantly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it running both safely and effectively.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule annual furnace service, please call today at 613-707-2421 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time.
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