Choosing Between Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

January 20, 2016

A fireplace adds character and value to your home. When homebuyers imagine 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 heating unit or snuggling around a cozy fire.

It’s hard to resist the enticement of of a warm fire, but how do you choose 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 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, considerably 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 the chimney.

  • Gas: There have been many aesthetic advances in gas fireplaces. The flames have become more realistic and many designs offer different heights. The types of logs used in gas fireplaces now have the look of the real thing and come complete with glowing embers, which don’t require you to wait while they burn out. You can easily switch your gas fireplace on and off, providing 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. Imagine the level of comfort you could get when you incorporate that with a fully serviced furnace. 

Air Quality and Maintenance

  • Wood: Air quality is important to every homeowner. Burning wood creates air pollution in and outside your home and the smoky wood aroma that a wood burning fireplace exudes 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 recurrent cleanings of embers and spent logs.

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces require a little bit of dusting every now and then and are practically maintenance free. It is recommended that you get your gas fireplace cleaned and adjusted yearly by a professional to keep it working both safely and smoothly.
If you want to convert your wood burning fireplace into a gas fireplace or you want to schedule seasonal furnace service, please call today at 208-488-4892 or schedule an appointment through our website. Our experts will have you cuddled up and warm in no time.
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