Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds ambiance and value to your home. When a person imagines their perfect home, the home typically includes a comfy 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 allure 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 keep your home nice and toasty.

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 opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an efficient heating source. Wood fires typically 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 many designs offer various 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 require you to wait while they simmer out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, giving you more control over the temperature of you home 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. Picture the level of comfort you could achieve when you pair that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is crucial to all homeowners. Burning wood generates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood odor 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require recurrent cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require some dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted once a year by an expert to keep it running both safely and effectively.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you simply want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please give us a call at 713-396-3760 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cozied up and comfortably warm in no time.
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