Installing a new fireplace can be exciting and add value to your home. If you’ve started researching fireplaces, you’ve probably realized that there are two popular fuel options to choose from, gas and wood. Trying to decide what fuel to use may seem intimidating at first. Or maybe you think that there aren’t many differences between gas and wood burning appliances, but there is. No fuel type is intrinsically better than the other, and choosing a fuel type will greatly depend on your needs. We here at Northeastern Fireplace & Design want to help you decide which fuel option is best for you.
Gas appliances run on natural gas or propane. The gas is usually piped into your home from an outside source and because gas lines are relatively easy to tap into, you have a lot of options for placement in your home. These appliances are easy to operate and can usually be turned on with a flip of a switch. Another reason many people like gas fireplaces is because they burn cleaner than other fuels. This means that there won’t be as much soot and creosote created when it burns. It also may help you avoid a sweeping after your annual chimney and fireplace inspection.
A drawback of gas fireplaces is that it doesn’t give you the ambiance of a real wood fire that many people desire. Although gas log sets do a great job looking like a real wood fire, you still wouldn’t get the gentle crackling and the earthy aroma associated with a wood fire. Also, if your fuel source gets turned off for any reason, you won’t be able to use your fireplace when you want to.
Wood fireplaces burn wood that that has to either be collected or bought. The warm glow, soft crackling, and ambiance created by a real wood fire are impossible to replicate with any other fuel source. Wood appliances can be cheaper to operate, depending on the availability of wood fuel near you. If you live near a cheap and plentiful source of lumber and are willing to cut and season your firewood yourself, you can save a lot on heating costs. Another benefit is that your heating fuel source isn’t piped in, meaning that you can operate your fireplace off the grid. This will assure that you and your family will stay warm should an emergency occur and gas is shut off.
There are a couple of drawbacks to having a wood fireplace, however. Chopping and stacking wood, seasoning it, hauling it into your home, starting a fire and keeping it going takes some effort. Although some people enjoy this process, some people simply do not have the time or energy for all this work. Another drawback is that wood burning fireplaces create a lot of soot, ash, and creosote, meaning they are often messier than gas fireplaces.
If you have questions about what type of fuel is best for you, let Northeastern Fireplace and Design help you. Give us a call at today at (518) 767-9314, or come see us today and let one of our fireplace specialists help you determine what type of appliance best fits your needs.