Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream home, 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 charm of of a toasty fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points to consider when deciding how to make sure your home stays warm through those cold, winter months.

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 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 reach high temperatures, 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 and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer various height adjustments. 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 merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could have when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to all homeowners. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it operating both safely and efficiently.
If you want to find out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gasfire place or you need to schedule your routine furnace service, please give us a call at 801-436-8985 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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