Gas vs. Wood: Which Is Right for You?

by | Nov 29, 2022 | Gas vs. Wood

If you’re wanting to add the warmth and beauty of a new heating appliance to your home, you’ll find there’s never been a wider variety of options on the market. The array of styles, sizes, designs, and finishes available means you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your space.

…but the variety can also be a bit overwhelming when it comes time to commit.

To narrow your search, first consider what fuel source would be best. This will determine the day-to-day use and maintenance needs of your unit, as well as many of its advantages, and it’s likely to be the foundational decision that informs your quest for the ideal fireplace or stove.

Why Go With a Wood-Burning Option?

Here are some factors to weigh if you’re considering installing a wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove.

  • white masonry wood-burning fireplace with a decorated mantelFirewood is easy to obtain. It’s generally simple to find a local supplier who will deliver cured firewood straight to your property. Or, if you’re lucky enough to be able to chop and season your own firewood, you’ve got an extremely economical way to heat your home. Firewood is a renewable resource, which is also a factor for some.
  • Firewood generates delightful radiant heat. Want waves of cozy warmth rolling off a crackling fire? A wood-burning fireplace will deliver the long-lasting heat you desire – even in the dead of winter.
  • New models are designed for efficiency. Gas units have a reputation for efficiency, but wood-burning options are also impressive performers. Today’s models are engineered for efficiency – and for reducing environmental impact, as well.
  • You’ll have options. Zero-clearance fireplaces allow you to put a charming fireplace where you may not have imagined it was possible, see-through fireplaces add a homey ambiance to two rooms at once, and inserts transform the traditional fireplace you love to maximize heat output and minimize emissions. You could also explore stove options, which offer flexible placement and a multitude of design selections. Wood-burning options also come with features that may surprise you if you haven’t explored the market in a while – from easy ignition, to fans, to thermostatic controls, and more. 
  • Wood-burning varieties create an unparalleled fireside experience. The flicker, crackle, and scent of a wood-burning fire creates an atmosphere that fireplace aficionados crave. I mean, let’s be honest – is there anything like curling up near a wood fire on a chilly evening? It’s iconic.

Is a Gas System Better for You?

Alright, the wood burning options are attractive. What do gas-burning options have to offer?

  • The ease of use is incredible. Ready for a cozy fire? So is your gas-fueled unit, with just the flip of a switch or push of a button. And some units provide not only precise temperature control, but even adjustable flame height – all from the comfort of your armchair.
  • Gas units are environmentally-friendly. Gas inserts produce virtually no smoke or particulate matter. They also burn with more than 90 percent efficiency. Although they do rely on a non-renewable resource, these two factors combined means that they provide reliable, efficient heat with a low environmental impact. The fact that creosote doesn’t build up and embers aren’t produced also leads many to value gas units from a safety standpoint too.
  • Maintenance needs are minimal. There is no need to chop, store, or rotate firewood to keep your fuel in supply. The fire won’t need to be tended in the same way a wood fire will, and clean-up is equally minimal with no firebox cleaning required or ash to scoop. While both wood and gas fireplaces do require an annual inspection to ensure proper function and upkeep, gas units have less mess involved, overall.
  • New models provide attractive, realistic looks. In the past, ceramic logs and flame patterns may have screamed artificial, but the gas products on the market nowadays are well-designed, powerful, and attractive. Gas fireplaces, inserts, and stoves all come in a variety of designs and with all the features needed to check the boxes on your wishlist.

Can I Burn Wood in a Gas Fireplace?

gas fireplace with gas logs and a black doorQuick answer? No. We all like to have the best of all worlds, but in this case you need to make your selection and stick with it.

Fuel sources can’t be burned interchangeably because each type of unit is designed to perform optimally based on the properties of its intended fuel source. The clearances are likely to be different, and gas fireplaces aren’t made for ash build-up. Ventilation needs will also be different, meaning smoke and gases can enter your home if an improper fuel source is used.

So… Which Should I Choose?

There’s no one right choice when weighing a gas or wood-fueled heating appliance. Both offer loads of benefits and options that will enhance your home. The question is – which is right for you? Which features do you find most appealing and which are best suited to your space and lifestyle? 

Desire a fire focalpoint, but don’t have much time to maintain the woodpile or clean out the firebox? Gas will serve you well. Want the smell and pop of burning logs to be part of your home’s atmosphere? Wood it is. Either way, be prepared to be pleased with the range of features and styles to choose from.

Call Us for Options

Ready to talk over the options with your specific space in mind? Give us a call! We can take care of your home heating needs from start to finish. We offer stunning products, professional installation, and expert maintenance – all with friendly, helpful service.

Call 919-747-1859 or reach out online today.

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