A lot of homeowners like to shop for new fireplaces in the spring and summer because of the deals found during the off-season months. At Aelite Chimney Specialties, our staff loves helping our clients find the most perfect fireplace for their homes, and we are often asked the following question: “Which fuel type is the best: gas or wood?” We feel both choices are excellent, but there are a few distinct differences between gas and wood-burning fireplaces that can determine the best fuel type for your home. Knowing these differences will help you make the fuel type decision for you, so we would like to give you a few questions to ask yourself about your dream fireplace.
How important is convenience to you?
If you are looking for a fireplace that is easy to use, you might consider a gas fireplace. You will have very little trouble getting a fire started because you can turn on the fireplace by flipping a switch or pushing a button on a remote control from your couch. However, if you enjoy building a wood fire, you probably will not mind the igniting process involved with a wood-burning fireplace. This process includes getting firewood from your outdoor storage, arranging the wood in the fireplace, placing kindling on top, light the fire, and maintaining it.
How concerned are you about fuel costs?
If you are on a budget, wood is much less expensive than natural gas. You can even chop your own wood for free! While natural gas is typically lower in costs than electricity, its price fluctuates. You should also consider if you have an existing gas line to your home because it can be expensive to install a line for your fireplace.
How much maintenance are you willing to do?
When you have a wood-burning fireplace, you will have a list of chores you must do. This list includes properly storing your firewood, bringing the wood into your home for each fire, and sweeping up ashes after every fire. Burning wood also produces creosote, which is a natural compound that accumulates on the interior walls of your chimney. Since creosote is extremely flammable, you will need to have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year. If you are looking for a low-maintenance fireplace, you will want a gas fireplace because it requires no chores like the ones involved with a wood-burning fireplace. Even though gas burns much more cleanly, you still need to schedule an appointment for an annual chimney sweeping and inspection.
How important is the sensory experience of a fire to you?
If you love hearing the sounds, smelling the scents, and watching the beauty of a fire, you may not be satisfied with a gas fireplace. Even though you can find gas fireplaces with very natural looking fires, only a wood-burning fireplace will provide you with the sensory experiences that you want.
Considering updating your fireplace? Contact us at Aelite Chimney Specialties to learn more about the differences between gas and wood-burning fireplaces.