Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream home, the house typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the allure 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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular 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 many designs offer different adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t force you to wait while they simmer out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides you more control over the temperature of you home 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. Imagine the level of comfort you could have when you pair that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of soot 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 an expert to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you need to schedule your yearly furnace service, please give us a call at or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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