Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces
A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine their perfect house, the house typically includes a comfy home that keeps you and your family warm in the winter, either with a smoothly running furnace or gathering 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 heat your home.
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 efficient heating source. Wood fires typically receive up to a 15% efficiency rating, much 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 home up the chimney.
- Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many models offer different height adjustments. The logs used in gas fireplaces now more closely favor the real thing and come complete with flickering embers, which don’t need you to wait while they burn out. You can merely switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing you more control over the temperature of you home 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 pair 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 odor 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 annually, gas fireplaces also require consistant cleanings of soot and spent logs.
- Gas: Gas fireplaces only require a bit of dusting every now and then and are just about maintenance free. It is advised that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by an expert to keep it functioning both safely and effectively.