Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces
A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When a person imagines their dream home, the home typically includes a cozy 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 charm of of a crackling 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 sensation 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, much 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 aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer various adjustments in height. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they go out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over your home’s temperature and frees you from having to look after 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 pair that with a well-maintained furnace.
Air Quality and Maintenance
- Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 regular 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 recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to keep it functioning both safely and smoothly.