Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces
A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect house, the house typically includes a cozy 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 allure of of a crackling 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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has routine 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 models offer various 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 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 look after 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 well-maintained furnace.
Air Quality and Maintenance
- Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 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 recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by an expert to keep it running both safely and efficiently.