Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream house, the dream 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 choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points to consider when deciding how to heat your home.

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 chance to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires usually receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has routine service performed. They do get very hot, 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 home up the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer different heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides 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 have when you combine that with a fully maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood causes air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood odor 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 chimney sweep. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed regularly, gas fireplaces also require regular 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 suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted every 12 months by a professional to keep it operating both safely and smoothly.
If you are interested in converting your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply need to schedule annual furnace service, please give us a call at 352-414-4006 or schedule an appointment on our website. Our experts will have you cozied up by the fire in no time.
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