Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces
A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their dream home, the home typically includes a comfortable home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running heating system 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 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 opportunity 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 is released 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 and out the chimney.
- Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some designs offer different height adjustments. The ceramic logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with glimmering embers, which don’t demand you to wait while they burn 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 tend to your fire. The lack of fire stealing oxygen gives gas fireplaces a 75% to 99% efficiency rating. Just imagine the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a fully maintained furnace.
Air Quality and Maintenance
- Wood: Air quality is critical to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside the home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace gives off could be a health hazard. 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 consistantly, gas fireplaces also require periodic cleanings of embers and spent logs.
- Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by an expert to keep it operating both safely and effectively.