Which is Better: Wood or Gas Fireplace?

In winter, few things are better than cosying up to a roaring fire.

But aside from making you feel warm and refreshed, fireplaces add a touch of class and elegance to the room, bring people closer during social gatherings, and can even boost the value of your home.

For these reasons, you want a fireplace that ticks all the right boxes: comfort, good looks, and energy efficiency. Not all fireplaces are made equal though, so you must first decide which is better: a wood or gas fireplace?

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each one.

Gas fireplaces

Gas fireplaces

Gas fireplaces burn natural gas to produce heat. A typical gas fireplace is comprised of an insert (or firebox), where the burning material is stored, and either a chimney or vent to discharge the heat and fumes outside. A ventless gas fireplace may be an option if you have the right sized room.

Pros of gas fireplaces

  • Clean burning – Natural gas is better for the environment than wood burning, as wood smoke contains various toxic air pollutants, including benzene and formaldehyde – which are recognised as carcinogens by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • No chimney required – Since gas fireplaces burn relatively clean fumes, you don’t need a chimney to discharge the heat and fumes, thus making installation cheaper and faster.
  • Ease of use – With the press of a switch, your gas fireplace will start working immediately. On the other hand, wood fireplaces require you to manually burn the wood and wait for them to heat up.

Cons of gas fireplaces

  • Less ambience – Love the sound of crackling fire? Or the smoky scent of wood? Then you may be a bit let down by the ‘artificial’ nature of a gas fireplace even though the convenience is great.
  • Gas line connection – Gas fireplaces require a direct connection to the mains gas line. While most modern homes have a gas system, if yours doesn’t, it’ll cost you more time and money to set up.
  • Expensive running costs – Using the mains gas line for your fireplace is generally more expensive than sourcing firewood.

Got more questions on whether a wood or gas fireplace is better for you? Contact Oldmate ACT today.

Wood fireplaces

Wood Fireplaces

Wood fireplaces are a luxurious addition to any home. Their rugged appearance and rustic charm adds plenty of character, while the crackling of the fire and warm, gentle glow creates a cosy and romantic setting.

Sounds great! But does the thrill of a genuine fireplace translate to the most optimal heating solution? Let’s find out.

Pros of wood fireplaces

  • All natural – Gas fireplaces need power to operate. Wood, on the other hand, is all natural. This means you don’t have to worry about power outages, pilot lights, or refilling on gas. All you need is wood, kindling, and a lighter or match to get started.
  • Affordable – Most hardware stores sell firewood at affordable bulk prices all year round. And if you can source natural wood yourself then you will save even more on running costs. Plus, wood fireplaces are an inexpensive, natural way to heat up your home.
  • Warm cosy atmosphere – Whether for a large social gathering, romantic evening for two, or just a lazy Sunday afternoon; the flickering flames and smoky wood scent creates the perfect backdrop for any occasion.

Cons of wood fireplaces

  • Requires a chimney – Wood fireplaces produce a lot of smoke and fumes. That means you need a chimney in which to disperse the fumes outside. If your house doesn’t already have a chimney, then you’ll need to install one. Naturally, this will increase the cost and hassle of installation.
  • Firewood must be stored appropriately – Leaving firewood around your house can increase the risk of a termite infestation. Especially if the wood is left in a pile or leaning against the house itself.
  • Higher maintenance – After using a wood fireplace, creosote, a by-product of firewood smoke, builds up in the chimney lining or flue. This substance is highly flammable and a major fire hazard. Worse still? The longer you leave it, the harder it is to clean. So you need to maintain the wooden fireplace on a regular basis to ensure it is safe to use.

Get expert advice to help you make the right choice

Hopefully, this guide will help you decide if a wood or gas fireplace is better for you. If you still have any questions, or you’d like to explore the potential of a gas fireplace in your home, contact Oldmate ACT today.

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