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Gas vs Wood Fireplace: How Do I Decide?

Wondering how to decide between a gas vs wood fireplace? Rest assured that both types of fuel offer remarkable efficiency, thanks to the stringent requirements of the EPA. To get the most enjoyment out of a new fireplace, consider the following pros and cons of wood and gas fireplaces.

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The ambiance of a wood-fueled fire seems to strike a basic chord within us all, like a primitive delight that human beings perpetually romanticize. The outdoorsy aroma, crackling wood, glowing embers, and dancing flames are a delight that makes hard work a worthwhile endeavor. The reality is that wood-burning fires require a greater measure of effort than any other type of fireplace. Whether that’s a pro or a con is a matter of personal choice. More pros and cons follow.

Wood Fireplace Pros

  • The above-described ambiance of a wood fireplace offers an unmatched environment for cozying up and warming next to a fire.
  • You can choose a type of firewood that creates a favorite from among nature’s aromas.
  • Choosing between seasoned hardwoods and softwoods, you can create fires that are quick-burning or slow to start burning out.
  • You have a way to keep warm, cook, and have a light source if the electricity goes out.
  • Collecting and storing firewood involves strenuous demands like chopping and hauling logs for stacking.
  • Wood-burning fires are dangerous if left unattended, especially considering that hot embers underneath the ashes could re-spark the flames.
  • Wood fires create creosote buildup in the chimney, so annually scheduled chimney cleaning is essential.
  • If you have a traditional open masonry fireplace, it is highly inefficient, providing 10% heating efficiency at best, but a good solution is to have an efficient fireplace insert installed.

Gas Fireplaces

Convenience is the ultimate benefit of gas fireplaces that so many homeowners appreciate. There may have been a time when it was a bit of a sacrifice to choose the convenience of a gas fireplace, but no more. Modern upgrades have enhanced the appeal of gas fireplaces to the point that they are considered to be as sexy as wood fireplaces.

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Gas Fireplace Pros

  • Instantly get flames started and shut them off, providing tremendous simplicity and freedom.
  • Gas fireplaces are highly efficient and can be used to zone heat and lower utility costs. Zone heating means shutting off the heat in all areas of the home and using only the gas fireplace in the room you are in.
  • Maintenance of gas fireplaces is a snap. An annual visit from a chimney expert who conducts a chimney and fireplace inspection as well as gas fireplace maintenance is often all that’s needed.
  • There are many incredible styles of linear gas fireplaces to choose from, and the design potential of gas fireplaces is off the charts.
  • You can still keep warm, cook food, and have light if there is no electricity.
  • No sooty, tar-like, highly flammable creosote is produced by gas fireplaces.

Gas Fireplace Cons

  • Installation costs of a gas fireplace can be high, especially if a gas line must be installed as part of the process in addition to the fireplace cost.
  • Ceramic logs and gas-fueled flames don’t offer the same realism as wood fires, though faux logs are more realistic today than they were in times past.

Will You Choose a Gas or Wood Fireplace?

At Felgemacher Fireplace Shop, our certified chimney sweeps can help you choose the gas or wood fireplace that is perfect for your home and lifestyle. We showcase many styles at our shop, which is in Cheektowaga, NY, at 2727 Broadway Suite 5. Visit us today or give us a call at (716) 907-4914. We also offer high-quality professional installation.