Wood vs. Gas: The Fireplace Showdown

When you live in a place with cold winters, like Wisconsin, having a fireplace is almost a necessity. But which is better? Gas or natural wood?

People love fireplaces because not only do they warm up your home, but they make your home feel warmer. There’s just a sense of coziness and comfort that comes with having a fire burning in the fireplace.

The question of gas versus wood has been around since gas fireplaces were invented. If you’re having a hard time deciding, we’ve dissected the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

 

Efficient Heating

Gas fireplaces are hands down the more efficient choice. They are designed to pump a lot of heat into your home while using minimal energy.

Wood-burning fireplaces are surprisingly inefficient. Unless you live near a forest and are willing to chop, split and dry the wood yourself, a gas fireplace will cost much less to run.

 

Cost of Installation

Gas wins again, unless you already have a fireplace and chimney in place. Gas fireplaces can be installed in just about any home and just require a simple vent.

Wood fireplaces require a lot more materials and labor to build. If you already have a wood fireplace and chimney in your home, modernizing it might be relatively easy. But if you’re starting from scratch, a gas fireplace is much less expensive.

 

Maintenance

Once more, gas wins.

Wood fireplaces require much more maintenance and cleaning to keep them in safe working condition. There is ash and soot that needs to be cleaned, and the chimney needs to swept to prevent creosote build-up.

Gas just needs to be inspected and cleaned every year, but they don’t come with the daily headaches that wood fireplaces do.

 

Safety

Safety is an issue with every fireplace, especially if you have small children or pets in the home.

Most modern gas fireplaces are designed to eliminate hot surfaces that can burn curious fingers.

With wood fireplaces, you have to be diligent to make sure sparks don’t fly onto your rug or smoke doesn’t build up inside your home.

 

Ambiance

With all factors coming down in favor of gas fireplaces, why would anyone want a wood fireplace?

But there’s nothing like cozying up in front of a crackling wood fire, watching it slowly burn out as your evening goes on. The smell of the wood, the warm glow of the coals. Gas fireplaces can’t do that.

Sometimes, the practical reasons for gas can’t make up for the ambiance a wood fireplace provides. And if you’re up to the task of maintaining them, wood fireplaces are perfectly safe and functional.

If you’re still not sure which is best for your home, give us a call and we’ll help you think through the options.

 

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