Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect 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 getting comfy around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the appeal of of a warm fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points 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 an effective heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many versions offer various heights. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they simmer out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over room 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 achieve when you incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood aroma 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 professional. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed consistantly, gas fireplaces also require consistant 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 yearly by an expert to keep it running 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 want to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please call us at at 847-250-6729 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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