Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When someone 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 getting comfy around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the appeal of of a crackling fire, but how do you choose 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 a powerful heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, a lot lower than a furnace that has consistent service performed. They do generate a lot of heat, 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer various adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t require you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over the temperature of you home and frees you from having to keep an eye on 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 combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to all homeowners. Burning wood generates 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a specialist to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please call us at at 205-267-0023 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you snuggled up by the fire in no time.
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