Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality 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 heating unit or gathering around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a warm fire, but how do you decide between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many factors 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 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, much lower than a furnace that has routine 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 style advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer various height adjustments. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they go out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which provides you more control over your home’s 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. Just picture the level of comfort you could get when you combine that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off 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 professional. Much like furnaces that should have furnace service completed annually, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of soot and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is suggested that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a professional 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 yearly furnace service, please call today at 925-364-5427 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts will have you cuddled up by the fire in no time.
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