Comparing Fireplaces: Gas (Natural Gas & Propane) vs Wood

October 20, 2021
Comparing Gas vs Wood Fireplaces

There are some major differences between gas fireplaces and the wood variety. Deciding which of these units to include in the setup of your home will depend on a number of factors. Only you can decide which option is going to be better for your budget and home. To make the process of selecting a fireplace easier for you, we’re going to talk a bit about the differences between gas and wood fireplaces.

Gas Fireplaces

A gas fireplace works by igniting propane or natural gas in order to produce flames. Fresh air is then pulled into the fireplace in order to mix that air with the flames that are being produced. The temperature of the air will then warm up over time. This is a very convenient and clean method of heat.

Gas fireplaces don’t utilize wood of any kind in order to produce heat. If you don’t have a source of free wood on your property, you’ll save money by not having to purchase wood throughout the cold months of the year. Even if you do have wood on your property, you might not be interested in having to chop it up each day. When you have wood inside of a fireplace and it’s burning, you need to tend to the fire periodically. The wood has to be positioned in the right way in order to start the flame, but you have to manipulate how the logs are positioned in order to keep the fire from dying out.

A gas fireplace requires you to simply turn on the gas, and let the unit do its job. Some people have gas-powered units that have remote control access. You don’t even have to get up from your spot on the couch to increase the warmth and ambiance of the room. There are many other features you can consider, including a two-way gas fireplace that you can see through to the other side. This is a unique option that you can use if you want to see the outside or see into another room in the house.

Wood Fireplaces

There’s nothing quite like the beauty of a wood burning fireplace, but there are some downsides to having this version of a fireplace in your home. For starters, it can be a safety risk if you have kids playing in the area of the fire without proper protection around the fireplace. A real fire can get out of hand quickly if embers are blown or moved to the floor near the fireplace or on furniture nearby. A gas version stays pretty well contained since there is typically a glass window over the front of the fireplace. You won’t be able to access the fire unless you were to open up the front of the unit.

Wood burning fireplaces can also negatively affect your indoor air quality. Carbon monoxide can be produced by a wood burning fireplace, and there are gases and particles that are the by-product of burning wood in your home. These can all lead to a poor indoor air quality. In order to decrease the risks associated with a indoor air being affected by a wood burning fireplace, you’ll need to keep up with expensive fireplace maintenance to ensure that there isn’t any damage to the bricks. You also have to worry about the moisture content of the wood you’re using. If it’s too wet, this increases the creosote content of the wood.

You should have your fireplace and chimney cleaned yearly. This will promote healthier indoor air and decrease the risk of a house fire. Though, this maintenance can get costly depending on how frequently you’re actually using your fireplace. It might not be worth the investment of maintenance when you could easily opt for a gas fireplace that doesn’t require much more than a routine inspection here and there.

Efficiency

A gas powered fireplace is a very efficient unit that can save you a lot of money on heating costs. Your average gas unit will run off of about 40,000 BTUs each hour. This equates to around .50 cents per hour. If you were to use a propane unit, it would cost more than double that amount. When it comes to wood, one cord of wood that’s appropriate for burning could cost anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the type of wood you choose and its availability.

Choosing a gas fireplace doesn’t mean that you are giving up the beauty and functionality of a wood burning fireplace. You can choose a unit that provides you with all of the different features that you want, and you can even choose the design to reflect your personality and style. Contact American Service Company for more information regarding the different gas fireplaces that we can install in your home for you. Our staff is very knowledgeable, and we can provide you with expert advice regarding the unit that we think would work best in your current home while still keeping with the current aesthetics of whatever room you’re including the fireplace in. Call us at 804-739-4094 or Send Us a Message.