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Pros and Cons of Gas vs Wood Fireplaces

If you are having trouble deciding whether to choose a gas or wood fireplace for installation in your home, we have good news! You can’t really make a bad choice between the two. There are many styles of each kind plus both EPA-approved types of fireplaces are highly efficient. We’ve provided a few pros and cons about gas and wood fireplaces to help you make a decision, as follows.

Pros and Cons of Wood Fireplaces

Wood Fireplaces: Pros

wood-fireplaceAn Abundance of Atmosphere — If ambiance is a top priority, a wood fireplace has all the atmosphere you might want, complete with pops, whistles, and crackles emanating from firewood. The scent of wood fires indoors creates an outdoorsy atmosphere that transforms a home into the best of both worlds. Watching the flames and glowing embers of wood fires provides primal fulfillment like little else.

Least Expensive Fuel—Firewood is most likely the fuel that will cost you less than any other kind for a fireplace. If you live in the city, however, it may not be quite as cheap. On the other hand, if you own woodsy property and can cut your own trees for firewood, you save even more with a wood fireplace.

No Services, No Problem—If you keep a nice stack of firewood on hand, you are all set to have fires in your wood fireplace during any power outages that might occur. The fires can be used for light at night and for cooking. You don’t need to worry about things like faulty pilot lights or whether propane or gas levels are running too low in an emergency, either.

Wood Fireplaces: Cons

Maintenance Demands—Wood fireplaces can be affected by various problems with the chimney, resulting in toxic gases getting into your home. Chimney sweep services, including chimney repairs, may be needed. Ash needs to be cleaned from the firepit frequently, with heavy fireplace use. In addition, flammable creosote is deposited in the chimney flue every time wood is burned, which increases the risk of a hazardous chimney fire. Chimney cleaning and chimney inspections are both recommended on an annual basis for wood fireplaces.

Chimney Care—Chimneys for wood fireplaces are vulnerable to damage. It’s important to keep a close eye for signs of chimney problems that can result in chimney leaks and, inevitably, chimney repair costs.

Handling Firewood—Dealing with firewood can be hard labor. It must be chopped, split, stacked, dried, and hauled into the house when ready for burning. When it’s time to light a fire in a wood fireplace, it can be a difficult task for some people to achieve, due to inexperience.

Pros and Cons of Gas Fireplaces

Gas Fireplaces: Pros

gas-fireplaceEase of UseThe convenience of gas fireplaces is amazing. Turning flames on and off is effortless—simply flip a switch or adjust a thermostat.

No Chimney Required—Direct-vent gas fireplaces vent exhaust through the nearest external wall or roof vent. The fact that no chimney is required is a cost-saving convenience.

Zone Heating—Gas fireplaces and wood fireplaces can both be installed in virtually any room of your home. With gas fireplaces, however, zone heating is a very practical way to cut utility costs in winter. Simply turn off central heating and use a gas fireplace only in the room you’re in. Then switch the flames off as you move to another room.

Linear Models—There are many beautiful linear gas fireplaces that provide sleek, elegant styling to a home. As compared to standard fireplaces, linear gas fireplaces provide a completely different look.

Easy Maintenance—All that is usually needed to properly maintain a gas fireplace is to schedule annual gas fireplace inspections performed by a professional chimney sweep.

Gas Fireplaces: Cons

Faux Ambiance—Ceramic logs these days are very realistic; but upon close examination, they are still obviously faux firewood. There are substitutes for the crackling sounds and scents of real firewood, but the overall effect can’t measure up to the ambiance of a wood fireplace.

Gas Line—Having a gas fireplace installed can get expensive if your home isn’t already set up for gas lines.

Equipment Hazards—Your family could be endangered if there is a gas leak caused by a faulty connection on your gas fireplace.

Contact Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle Inc. Stove & Fireplace Center has a destination showroom at 848 Danbury Rd in Wilton, CT, where you can see live fireplace displays anytime during showroom hours. Let our experts help you choose between a gas vs wood fireplace. Stop by or call today at (203) 544-8111.