Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone 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 heater or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of of a warm fire, but how do you pick between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many aspects 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 a powerful heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, considerably lower than a furnace that has regular 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 house up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some versions offer various adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they simmer out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives you more control over room temperature 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 pair that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to homeowners and homebuyers. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes could be hazardous to your family’s. 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 regularly, gas fireplaces also require regular cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by an expert to keep it working both safely and efficiently.
If you are interested in finding out more information about converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule your seasonal furnace service, please call us at at 605-223-0307 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you snuggled up and warm in no time.
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