Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds personality and value to your home. When someone imagines their perfect home, the house typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the appeal of of a crackling fire, but how do you choose between a gas or wood burning fireplace? There are many points to consider when deciding how to keep your home nice and toasty.

Aesthetics and Efficiency 

  • Wood: A wood burning fireplace typically wins in the sensory category. You get the crackle. You get the pop. You get the opportunity to roast marshmallows indoors. Something you don’t get is an effective heating source. Wood fires normally receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much lower than a furnace that has regular 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 home up and out the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many artistic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and some models offer various adjustments in height. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely resemble the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t force you to wait while they burn out. You can simply switch your gas fireplace on and off which gives 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. Picture the level of comfort you could have when you incorporate that with a well-maintained furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is vital to every homeowner. Burning wood produces air pollution in and outside your family’s home and the smoky wood smell that a wood burning fireplace emits 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 consistant cleanings of ashes and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a 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 an expert to keep it functioning 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 403-279-5760 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and comfortably warm in no time.
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