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Tips on Choosing between a Gas vs a Wood Fireplace

Modern factory-made gas and wood fireplaces are terrific investments. Unlike open masonry fireplaces that lose a minimum of 90% of the heat up the chimney, prefab gas and wood fireplaces are excellent sources of supplemental heat. You can cut winter utility costs, whether you choose a gas fireplace or one that burns wood. There are some differences between the two fuel types, however, and the following are helpful comparisons for anyone choosing between gas and wood fireplaces.

Ambiance

wood-fireplaceWood–The ambiance created by wood fires is what makes firewood the most popular fireplace fuel type. The senses are titillated by the aroma of wood, the sounds of crackling and popping, the warmth provided, and the dance of mesmerizing flames. The firewood can even be stacked in the home in a way that adds to a home’s wonderful outdoorsy vibes.

Gas–A gas-fueled fireplace may have the most realistic ceramic logs available, which could arguably mimic a wood fireplace to almost match the ambiance of a wood fire. The smell of a wood fire can be released with a candle, and the crackles and pops of burning wood could be a gas fireplace feature controlled with the remote. For homeowners who prefer a more modern feel, linear gas fireplaces are available, and they create warmth and symmetry with an upscale slant.

Winner of the Ambiance comparison: Wood fireplaces

Convenience

Wood—If you have trees on your own property that you would cut down for firewood, you have very convenient access to the fuel. There is still quite a bit of work involved, however. The firewood must be chopped, split, and stacked for a sufficient time to dry out the wood, which is between six months to a year or more. Next, the wood must be hauled into the house, and the fire in the fireplace must be lit so that the logs burn efficiently.

Gas—Operating a gas fireplaces is effortless. Simply turn a knob, flip a switch, or adjust a thermostat to turn the flames on and off. Gas fireplaces sometimes have adjustable flames, which means you are in complete control of the amount of heat produced. In the convenience category, the only potential downside is if there isn’t already a gas line in the house.

Winner of the Convenience Comparison: Gas fireplaces

Maintenance

gas-fireplaceWood– Ashes must be cleaned out frequently in a wood fireplace so that plenty of air gets to the flames, though it’s good to leave 1 to 2 inches of ash in the firebox as insulation that helps fires burn hotter. In addition, the chimney should be cleaned about once annually if you have a wood fireplace. Flammable creosote is deposited in the flue every time a wood fire is lit. Wood fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected annually.

Gas—An annual gas fireplace and chimney inspection is important because a professional will check all components to be sure the gas fireplace is safe for use. Other than that, maintenance on a gas fireplace is a snap.

Winner of the Maintenance Comparison: Gas fireplaces

Zone Heating

Wood—Prefab gas and wood fireplaces can be installed almost flush against combustible materials, though manufacturers’ instructions should always be followed. Since these fireplaces can safely be installed in virtually any room of a home, zone heating is possible. Lowering your utility bill can often be accomplished with zone heating, which means you shut off the central heating system and burn a fire only in the room you’re in. Since wood fires should not be unattended, zone heating can potentially be a bit impractical.

Gas—Zone heating is simple and sensible with gas fireplaces. The warm fires of gas fireplaces can be started and stopped in a moment, making it safe to switch from room to room.

Winner of the Zone Heating Comparison: Gas fireplaces

Contact Burlington Fireplace & Solar

The most important thing when considering whether to choose a gas or wood fireplace is what you really enjoy the most, even though gas fireplaces win most comparison tests. If you want to have a gas or wood fireplace installed, contact the certified experts at Burlington Fireplace & Solar. We can also provide the best chimney services in Burlington, WI, and the entire surrounding area. Contact us today at 262-763-3522.

 

 

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