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 home typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heater or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the charm of of a toasty fire, but how do you pick 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 sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the ability 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 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 style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer diverse adjustments in height. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor 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, 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. Picture the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of cinders and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are virtually maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a professional to keep it running both safely and efficiently.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your annual furnace service, please call today at 352-414-4006 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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