Homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to have fireplaces in their homes. For many, the answer is obvious when they are asked if they prefer gas or wood-burning appliances. However, f you are looking to add a hearth appliance to your home and you don’t know which fuel type you prefer, you might be wondering: How do gas and wood-burning fireplaces compare?
When it comes to convenience, gas fireplaces and heating stoves trump their wood-burning counterparts. Wood-burning appliances require the acquisition, stacking, storing and hauling of firewood, not to mention the building and tending of fires. On the other hand, gas fireplaces and heating stoves produce a flame with virtually no effort. They can be ignited with a switch on the wall or via a remote. In many homes, gas fireplaces or heating stoves are even wired to thermostats so flames will automatically ignite, adjust or extinguish based on the desired temperature within the home.
Cost of Fuel
When it comes to fuel costs, wood has gas beats in almost all cases. Many homeowners with woodstoves or wood-burning fireplaces chop their own firewood, making it a free source of fireplace fuel. Even for those who prefer to buy their firewood ready to go, firewood tends to be a very low-cost fuel option. That’s not to say that using your gas fireplace will be cost prohibitive. In fact, natural gas and propane remain affordable sources of fuel. Using a gas heating appliance to target heat in the most used rooms of your home can help you to lower your overall home-heating bills.
Gas fireplaces and heating stoves, as a whole, are more efficient than wood-burning appliances. However, the exact difference in efficiency largely depends on what type of appliance your burning. An EPA-certified wood-stove or fireplace insert can come close to the efficiency ratings of some gas appliances. On the flip side, a traditional open-hearth fireplace, whether it features vented gas logs or is meant to burn wood, do little to help heat a home. Ventless logs or vent-free gas fireplaces, by contrast, return nearly all of a fire’s heat to your home. Also worth noting: In nearly all cases, wood-burning fireplaces emit more fine particles into the atmosphere than gas appliances, but there are some incredibly clean-burning wood models, as well.
Fans of wood-burning appliances will, without fail, point to the ambiance of wood-burning fireplaces and stoves as a clear winner. Who doesn’t love the traditional look of a wood fire burning away in the hearth? The good news for those who prefer the convenience and efficiency of a gas appliance is that gas log manufacturers have become true artists when it comes to recreating the look of burning logs. You can find models meant to mirror different types of woods. You can even add burning embers and lights to more closely mimic a wood fire.
Regardless of which type of fireplace or heating stove you’re leaning toward FireSide Hearth & Home can help! We carry gas and wood-burning appliances in a variety of models, and our experts can help you find one to fit your home. Still on the fence about gas versus wood fireplaces? We can help you weigh the pros and cons of each to make the right decision for your home.